When it comes to thinking about the future data center, it’s well understood that servers and storage will function as pools of virtualized resources that can automatically switch from task to task.
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Networking is a much harder nut to crack. It remains unvirtualized and has lagged far behind the other two. But without it, we’ll never get to the flexible, automated data center of the future envisioned as a “private cloud.” That’s why I sat down to talk to Martin Casado, the former Stanford grad student whose PhD thesis turned into the OpenFlow networking protocol. Casado co-founded virtual networking firm Nicira, which soon became the lead contributor to OpenStack’s project, Quantum. for $1.26 billion in July — not bad for a young company with 100 employees. I’d asked Casado to explain how Nicira was going to continue to lead development of virtual networking in OpenStack, zaltv since open source OpenStack competes directly with VMware to manage the virtualized part of the data center that’s implementing automated self provisioning, elastic expansion and chargeback — the private cloud part.