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Oracle Joins SDN Party with Xsigo Deal

On the heels of VMware's bold $1.26 billion deal last week to acquire software-defined networking pioneer Nicira, Oracle Monday made its own SDN play with its agreement to purchase Xsigo for an undisclosed amount.

Venture-backed Xsigo, a San Jose, Calif.-based company founded in 2004, offers its Data Center Fabric portfolio. Simply put, Xsigo's network software and hardware connects virtual servers and storage with virtualized network infrastructure.

The two back-to back SDN deals by two key IT infrastructure suppliers are "strong testament that the next optimization battleground in virtual environments is the network," said Forrester research senior analyst Dave Bartoletti, recalling networking virtualization as a tough three years ago. Now with a slew of storage options optimized for virtual workloads, Bartoletti pointed out the network still lags.

"You can provision new VMs and the storage they require in seconds, but reconfiguring the network to let them move easily and connect on the fly is still often a manual, cumbersome process that can take days or weeks," he added. These deals are "another step toward making the entire datacenter 'software-defined,' ie, based on a software layer the provisions compute, storage and network on demand for each workload - in just the right amounts."

Bartoletti's colleague, Forrester principal analyst Andrew Reichman, added Xsigo will help Oracle extend its push into the datacenter. "This will augment their portfolio of servers and storage acquired from Sun, and allow Oracle to better compete with VMware and Microsoft as the datacenter moves more towards application/software based infrastructure management," Reichman said.

Expect Oracle to optimize Xsigo for its own software and Sun server and storage environments. In a FAQ posted by Oracle, the company said it plans to optimize Xsigo for the Oracle VM, though it will continue to support other virtual machines. And Oracle emphasized its goal of integrating Xsigo to enable customers to dynamically reallocate resources on demand. Oracle said Xsigo will also reduce the cost and simplify management of datacenter and cloud-based systems.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 07/31/2012 at 1:14 PM


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