VMware is serious about the Software Defined Networking (SDN) market. To underscore that fact, VMware today announced its intention to acquire SDN vendor Nicira for $1.2 billion. VMware will pay 1.05 billion in cash and $210 million in assumed unvested equity awards.
Nicira is the leading vendor behind the Open vSwitch technology, which provides an SDN virtual switch. The vSwitch became part of the mainline Linux kernel in March as part of the Linux 3.3 release. Nicira is also the leading vendor sponsor behind the OpenStack Quantum networking project. OpenStack is a multi-stakeholder open source cloud effort backed by AT&T, IBM, HP, Dell, NASA and Rackspace, among numerous others. Quantum ushers in a new type of cloud-based networking model where the network can be fully virtualized.
“VMware has led the server virtualization revolution, and we have the opportunity to do the same in data center and cloud networking,” said Paul Maritz, chief executive officer of VMware, in a statement. “The acquisition of Nicira adds to our portfolio of networking assets and positions VMware to be the industry leader in software-defined networking.”