The network solutions of data centers were previously based on physical devices. Hardware implementation requires a physical presence and time. Software-based solutions bring about a new level of speed, dynamics, security and anticipation.
The network solutions of data centers have traditionally been based on technology, and new requirements are satisfied with new equipment or extensions to old equipment. Physical devices always require rack space, power and cooling capacity in the data center, and their installation requires someone to be physically present. This means time wasted by specialists who should have more important things to do.
There is a a software-based alternative to the traditional hardware-based network technology. In software-based network solutions, the network service is provided using standard server capacity, and the deployment of new services can be carried out using existing server capacity. This means that the time spent on the deployment of new services can be cut down, through automation, to a couple of minutes.
VMware’s solution to software-based networks is NSX. This product enables the provision of network services, such as routing, load balancing, firewall and VPN, using any VMware ESXi compatible servers. At a minimum, this solution requires a VMware vSphere platform and a physical LAN between ESXi servers. Additional services, such as routing and security features, can be provided with NSX. As a result, the traffic between network devices and servers is reduced and change management can be centralized.
Several often widely publicized security incidents have proved that the traditional method of providing security services only along the edges of the data center is currently insufficient. It is far too easy for the attacker to navigate within the confines of a secure network, and often completely unnoticed.
VMware NSX enables the placement of centrally managed security services, such as a firewall, on the network connection of a protected virtual server. Each server forms a separate security segment that can be managed either individually or jointly, together with several similar virtual machines.
A corresponding solution using hardware-based micro segmentation is not cost-effective. A software-based solution brings security close to the work loads of data centers and provides an entirely new approach to the provision of security.
VMware NSX has become the focal point of an ever-growing ecosystem of security services. This NSX infrastructure can be extended with the solutions of many different suppliers to provide for attack prevention, virus protection and identification of vulnerabilities. Companies such as Palo Alto Networks, Check Point, Fortinet and Trend Micro have produced VMware NSX compatible security elements. The greatest benefit of an expanded ecosystem is the fact that customers can take advantage of a wide range of familiar brands.