VMware updates vRealize Network Insight, NSX-T

Launched at VMworld 2020, the latest version of vRealize Network Insight has verification technology that lets managers see the impact of network changes before deploying them.

VMware has rolled into vRealize Network Insight the network verification technology the company acquired last year through the purchase of Veriflow.

The Veriflow integration provides many of the standout features in vRealize Network Insight 6.0, unveiled this week at the VMworld 2020 virtual conference. The latest enhancements are in the SaaS and on-premises versions of the updated product.

Before Veriflow, vRealize showed network managers traffic paths and performance metrics across physical and virtual networks, said Shamus McGillicuddy, an analyst at Enterprise Management Associates. With the acquired technology, vRealize also lets managers see the effect of network changes before deploying them.

"It connects the dots better than having two separate tools," McGillicuddy said. "This makes it easier to troubleshoot problems and plan changes to the network."

The latest vRealize contains Veriflow technology for creating an interactive network model based on state data from physical and virtual firewalls, load balancers, routers and switches in the data center and public and private cloud. Network engineers test planned configuration and policy changes against the model to determine their impact on the network.

Other enhancements involve the VMware software-defined WAN. The new vRealize provides more details on the performance of SD-WAN-created tunnels on the public internet.

Also, VMware integrated VRealize with NSX-T 3.1, which the company introduced at VMworld.

In general, NSX-T is the virtual networking core of VMware's Virtual Cloud Network, a portfolio of products for redesigning data centers for the cloud era. VCN has technology for applying security and network policies across cloud-native applications, bare-metal workloads, multivendor hypervisors, and a diversity of public clouds.

NSX-T 3.1 is capable of larger-scale global deployments than the previous version, NSX-T 3.0. It does that, in part, by doubling the scale of the NSX-T Federation.

NSX Federation, introduced in version 3.0, lets users implement isolatable network zones. Cutting off ties between zones is critical when malware infects one. Also, engineers can deploy the same network and security policies across the zones.

NSX-T 3.1 can also accommodate disaster-recovery use cases and automate the deployment of virtualized network infrastructure.

Overall, the enhancements will help organizations add public cloud and SaaS applications to the network to accommodate workers spread across home offices during the pandemic.

"These are timely features," said Brad Casemore, an analyst at IDC. "We're seeing a strong enterprise focus on business resilience and continuity during the pandemic."

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