VMware to Buy Arkin for Network Virtualization

Arkin Net's platform will strengthen VMware's vRealize management suite in all parts of the data center, including networking, compute and storage.

network management

VMware is adding to its arsenal of software-defined infrastructure capabilities with the planned acquisition of Arkin Net, whose software makes it easier for enterprises to manage their environments across domains of both physical and virtual compute, networking and storage resources.

VMware officials on June 13 announced the plan to acquire Arkin Net, which is one of its strategic technology partners. No financial details for the deal were released.

The acquisition promises to be a boost for both VMware's NSX network virtualization technology and its vRealize Suite of tools for managing software-defined data center (SDDC) resources across hybrid cloud environments. Arkin's technology will be integrated into the vRealize Suite, giving customers greater planning, security, troubleshooting and automation capabilities across the data center, VMware officials said.

Currently, VMware vRealize Operations software delivers management across physical and virtual compute and storage environments. With Arkin integrated into the platform, vRealize will be able to extend across the entire data center, including the NSX software-defined networking (SDN) technology, officials said, adding that Arkin's products are purpose-built for NSX.

"Arkin brings two important capabilities to VMware," Dominick Delfino, vice president of worldwide sales and systems engineering at VMware, wrote in a post on the company blog. "It extends the cross-domain visibility of VMware vRealize Operations to more of the SDDC infrastructure. From compute and storage to networking and security—across network overlays and underlays. Arkin also helps IT organizations with planning and compliance management for NSX micro-segmentation."

According to Ajay Singh, senior vice president and general manager of VMware's Cloud Management Business Unit, Arkin Net will become part of his group once the deal closes. Arkin Net has built a platform to manage cloud environments that was purpose-built for NSX. With Arkin Net in the fold, VMware will be able to increase the collaboration between the Cloud Management Business unit—which is responsible for vRealize—and VMware's Network and Security Business Unit, which develops NSX. Customers will get "a truly integrated approach to next-generation cloud management," Singh wrote in a post on the company blog.

VMware is looking to become a significant player in the growing SDDC space, with such tools and vRealize and NSX. In a conference call with analysts and journalists in April to talk about VMware's latest quarterly financial numbers, CEO Pat Gelsinger noted that bookings for NSX grew more than 100 percent over the same period in 2015. During the first three months of the year, VMware also released vRealize Suite 7, which brought greater scalability to the software, Gelsinger said.

"Arkin delivers a new operations paradigm that has been built from the ground up for VMware NSX network virtualization and is fully aligned with the core NSX use cases of IT automation, security and application continuity," Arkin Net co-founder and CEO Shiv Agarwal said in a statement.

Arkin Net's platform brings capabilities before and after NSX deployments, VMware officials said. The company's platform, through a preassessment tool, delivers insights into traffic flows in data centers that help speed up deployment of NSX. Once NSX is deployed, the tool offers such tools as contextual analytics and plain English search in both the virtual and physical layers of the data center.

VMware got into the network virtualization space four years ago when it bought startup Nicira for $1.26 billion, a move that led to the development of NSX. It also put VMware into direct competition with the likes of Cisco Systems and Juniper Network in the SDN space.