Software: The new networking paradigm

VMware’s planned acquisition of Nicra for $1.25 billion represents the evolution of networking beyond the hardware-dominated point of view that has sustained the industry for decades. Here’s what that means for startups in the networking realm as well as for the industry giants.

Meet Nicira. Yes, people will call it the VMware of networking

Nicira, the networking startup that is not so stealthy but seriously hot, is ready to tell the world what it offers and who is buying its software. The list of customers is impressive. Nicira’s Network Virtualization Platform is used at eBay, NTT, AT&T, Fidelity Investments and Rackspace.

ConteXtream joins the software defined networking rush

Playing off the interest in creating software defined networks for virtualized environments, startup ConteXtream has launched a product that allows a data center operator to separate network services such as firewalls and load balancers from the physical hardware. It joins several startups pushing virtualized networks.

Embrane’s virtual network appliances for an SDN world

Embrane, the not-so-stealthy startup that’s one of several hoping to make it big on the concept of virtualizing the network, launched Sunday. The company, founded in 2010 by Dante Malagrinò, has raised $27 million to provide firewalls, load balancers and more via distributed software.

Vyatta scores $12M as networking gets hot

Vyatta, which provides open-source networking software, has raised $12 million in expansion round financing as the entire networking field finds itself on the cusp of big changes. The round, its fifth, was led by HighBAR Partners and brings Vyatta’s total funding to $45 million.

How will we talk to programmable networks?

The buzz around OpenFlow is increasing with a few case studies out last month, some fundings and a new beta product from a vendor pushing a software-defined network controller. And now there’s a developing programming language for virtualized networks, called Frenetic.

Embrane gets $18M to build cloud networking tools

Embrane, which builds tools that will enable cloud providers to scale out networking services faster and with less complexity, has raised $18 million in second round funding. The networking sector is heating up as virtualization complicates communication between servers and data centers.

OpenFlow in the real world: Carriers, clouds and more

The shift in networking and the hype around the OpenFlow protocol has led to a a lot of confusion and overinflation of what OpenFlow can do. To get a bit more grounded in reality, I spoke with NEC about what its customers are doing.