VMware responds to Cisco, claims strong SDN momentum

|About: Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)|By:, SA News Editor

Responding to comments from John Chambers and other Cisco (CSCO) execs suggesting VMware (VMW) has only a handful of paying clients for its NSX software-defined networking (SDN) platform, VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger recently declared NSX's client base has hit 100.

Gelsinger: "Some [clients] are in prototypes, some are in full deployment, but they’re paying customers." He adds two older VMware SDN clients, Rackspace and eBay, are "at dramatic production scale," and that many customers use NSX to create a secure network within a network.

Also: Gelsinger claims Cisco's shots at VMware are good PR. "Cisco declared us public enemy No. 1, so all of a sudden every customer, every purchasing agent, has to say, ‘What’s going on over there?’"

NSX, backed by many Cisco rivals and enabled by VMware's 2012 acquisition of early SDN leader Nicira, can be used to enable networks running on commodity gear, rather than proprietary/high-margin hardware from Cisco and others.

Cisco is countering with its Insieme/ACI platform, which it argues delivers (thanks to hardware/software integration) better network/app visibility and simpler management. VMware and other critics assert it's much costlier.