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Vendor lock-in is top hyper-converged infrastructure concern

This week, bloggers assess vendor lock-in in the context of hyper-converged infrastructure, Versa Networks' new SD-WAN offering and important steps to take before deploying NSX.

In a recent blog post, Colm Keegan, an analyst with Enterprise Strategy Group Inc. (ESG), in Milford, Mass., reported that a top concern in deploying integrated computing platforms (ICPs), such as converged and hyper-converged infrastructure, is falling prey to vendor lock-in.

Nevertheless, ESG data indicated substantial adoption of converged and hyper-converged infrastructure. In a recent survey of several hundred IT professionals, 33% said they have deployed ICPs, and only 17% indicated no interest at all. Among the factors driving adoption are scalability, lower total cost of ownership, ease of deployment and ease of management.

Keegan pointed out that deploying hyper-converged infrastructure doesn't have to mean committing to just one supplier, with do-it-yourself advocates mixing and matching vendor products and white box hardware. Some ICP vendors, such as NetApp and VCE, also offer turnkey platforms with support for various vendors -- standardized on Cisco for networking and VMware for server virtualization, for example.

Read more of Keegan's thoughts on hyper-converged infrastructure, including why even an open source environment has an element of lock-in.

Versa Networks joins the SD-WAN fray

Greg Ferro, the blogger behind Etherealmind, recently sat in on an Open Networking User Group event with Versa Networks, highlighting the vendor's new software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) offering. Founded by veterans of Juniper Networks, Versa targets managed service providers with the promise to replace MPLS backbones, lower costs and create agile, multi-tenant networks.

Ferro reported that, like many SD-WAN companies, Versa Networks employs network overlays to provide zero-touch provisioning. The company also uses Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which it said ensures scalability.

In Ferro's view, Versa is arriving late in the SD-WAN market, competing against Viptela Inc. and Nuage Networks -- which are already selling products to managed service providers. He also expressed misgivings about Versa Networks' scalability, saying that BGP is far from the only important factor.

Read more of Ferro's thoughts on Versa Networks.

NSX: A stitch in time saves nine

On Network Inferno, blogger Anthony Burke has advice if you're about to embark on a VMware NSX deployment: Slow your roll. Burke said the idea for the post came out of a conversation with Packet Pushers bloggers Ethan Banks, Chris Wahl and Stephen Skinner, in which they offered this wisdom: "The first thing you do when you get NSX is ... do not deploy NSX."

Burke wrote that while it is possible to quickly install NSX in a brownfield environment, that ease of deployment doesn't negate the need for thoughtful design and preparation. To avoid a "bull-in-a-china-shop" scenario, he emphasized the importance of articulating a specific long-term goal and measurable milestones along the way.

Read more of Burke's thoughts on NSX deployments.

Next Steps

Learning more about VMware VSAN

Transforming legacy networks with NSX

Verizon and Cisco offer managed SD-WAN

Dig Deeper on SDN network virtualization

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