& cplSiteName &

VMware to Buy SDN Startup for More Than $1B

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
7/23/2012
50%
50%

VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) announced Monday that it's acquiring Nicira Networks Inc. , the prominant software-defined networking (SDN) startup, for $1.05 billion in cash.

The deal is actually worth a little more, as VMware is adding $210 million worth of unvested equity awards, according to the company's press release.

Nicira, for those not familiar with the name, is one of the startups that sprang from the OpenFlow work initially done at Stanford University . The company only launched in February.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2012.

Why this matters
If there was any doubt that SDN has reached fever pitch, this should dispel it. The biggest name in server virtualization is buying one of the hot startups that's most closely tied to SDN.

SDN is usually discussed as a way of virtualizing the network -- an extension of the work VMware already does. The acquisition could solidify an early leadership position for VMware in network virtualization.

But it could also be seen as a sign that VMware had quickly fallen behind as the SDN craze took hold. Only last week, VMware changed CEOs in order to better pursue the idea of the virtualized data cetner. It's clear now that the company is working hard to redefine itself for the next wave of virtualization.

For more



— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:56 PM
re: VMware to Buy SDN Startup for More Than $1B


What's this mean for Cisco's relationship with VMware/EMC?  Brad Casemore brought that up on Twitter: "the EMC-Cisco divorce could be imminent."

Sisyphus
50%
50%
Sisyphus,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:56 PM
re: VMware to Buy SDN Startup for More Than $1B
..as usual everybody will still pretend to be friends and emphasize the synergistic nature etc... But Cisco has to replace the vSwitch pretty quickly.
Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:55 PM
re: VMware to Buy SDN Startup for More Than $1B


> ..as usual everybody will still pretend to be friends and emphasize the synergistic nature etc... But Cisco has to replace the vSwitch pretty quickly.


I'm doing a followup story along those lines. I'd tend to agree with you, although I've found at least one non-VMware person who disagrees. 

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:51 PM
re: VMware to Buy SDN Startup for More Than $1B


NY Times says Nicira's price was 25x what investors put into it.


http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/...


(hat tip: @BradCasemore on Twitter)

BigBro
50%
50%
BigBro,
User Rank: Lightning
12/5/2012 | 5:26:48 PM
re: VMware to Buy SDN Startup for More Than $1B


As I posted in another discussion thread: what's the next move?


Will EMC, which is already a hardware vendor, expand to become a networking hardware vendor? If they chose to buy, it would seem their choices are pretty much limited to Arista and Brocade at this point.

patentchoi
50%
50%
patentchoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:22 PM
re: VMware to Buy SDN Startup for More Than $1B


Nicira is threatening the margins of physical switch vendors by removing the dependency on their high-margin features/line-cards.


But it would be a massive effort for the VMW sales folks to capitalize on this opportunity. They are only in the data center and enterprise with almost no presence in service provider.


There is a long battle ahead and VMW has $1B less in its limited war-chest.

Pete Baldwin
50%
50%
Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:22 PM
re: VMware to Buy SDN Startup for More Than $1B


That's true, Nooser, but it's the data center that VMware is mainly interested in.  It's going to be a while before SDN starts to make major changes in the service provider area.

patentchoi
50%
50%
patentchoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:26:20 PM
re: VMware to Buy SDN Startup for More Than $1B


Even in the DC it is going to be tough. Providers such as Google and Amazon most likely would not use a Nicira product. In enterprises, closed solutions such as UCS (with ONE), Q-fab etc will make it hard to justify network-virtualization exclusively at the server-virtualization layer. The primary assumption of the Nicira solution is a dirt-cheap IP fabric and it is doubtful if such solutions exist.

From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
LRTV Documentaries
Zuckerberg Tries Out the Oculus Rift VR Glove

2|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Facebook CEO shows off a new way to interact with the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset: an Oculus glove.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei Digital Transformation Forum 2017

2|10|17   |     |   (0) comments


Here's a preview of the upcoming Huawei Digital Transformation Forum taking place in Barcelona with trending telecom topics like cloud, IoT, 5G and much more!
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Dan Sahar of Qwilt on Open Edge Cloud Platform

2|8|17   |   08:38   |   (0) comments


Dan Sahar, Qwilt's co-founder, sits down with Steve Saunders of Light Reading for a conversation about Qwilt's Open Edge Cloud platform and the new role of service providers in application and content delivery.
LRTV Documentaries
ZeroStack's 'Self-Driving Cloud'

2|7|17   |   01:09   |   (0) comments


Its Z-Brain tech automates day-to-day management and long-term planning for hybrid clouds.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum's Craig Sprosts on DNS & Cybersecurity Trends

2|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


Nominum's Craig Sprosts talks about the fast-changing landscape of cybersecurity with Steve Saunders of Light Reading. Sprosts touches on the trend of the rise of ransomwares, rivals of IoT base attacks, and mobile network security. He also discusses the realization of the importance of IoT security after a recent cyber attack that paralyzed several major ...
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Is the Time Right for a Cisco/Ericsson Wedding?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 2/17/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Nice to See at Least One CSP Taking My Advice
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 2/17/2017
Charter Launches 5G Field Trials
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/16/2017
RSAC 2017 in 4 Words
Curtis Franklin, Security Editor, 2/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.