VMware's NSX network virtualisation software has been added to the company's price list, a small-but-important milestone that sees the product available to resellers for the first time.
Virtzilla announced NSX last August and released it in October of the same year, but until now has only sold it direct to customers. VMware swears that decision wasn't taken to leave it with the juiciest and lowest-hanging fruit. Instead, the company says it was a necessary first step because a new product category isn't something you can just drop into the channel's lap and expect they'll be able to sell.
In the case of NSX, VMware has unashamedly said it doesn't expect anyone to understand the product immediately. It has therefore spent rather a lot of time since NSX's launch filling whiteboards in company with both customers and partners to help them understand network virtualisation and its place in the software-defined data centre. With that indoctrination phase complete, the time to give NSX a public price partners can dangle beneath customers' noses has arrived.
Not every VMware partner will hit the streets looking for NSX customers. Those that do will will almost always hold the company's Elite status, a rarified tier occupied by only 10 companies. Others that offer the product will, according to VMware Australia's Aaron Steppat, offer “multiple practices” to their customers. Such broad competency is needed because successful NSX implementations will need to touch on many parts of the data centre, so would-be implementers need to understand not just NSX but also how it works alongside the many other pieces of infrastructure and software that networks touch.
By now you may be wondering if, seeing as we mentioned price back in the first sentence, we will ever get around to revealing it.
Without further ado, NSX comes in three cuts:
- A subscription version priced at $AUD550 ($US517 or £304) per virtual machine, per year;
- A licence for an add-on to the enterprise version of the vCloud Suite, at $AUD4700 ($US4,420 or £2,600) per CPU;
- NSX for vSphere at $AUD8,065 per CPU ($US7,585 or £4,464).
Lest those prices raise eyebrows, VMware is at pains to point out that its vision for NSX is that it will deliver without the need for new networking hardware. That's in contrast to other network virtualisation frameworks that suggest new boxen built for purpose are the best way to hand the control plane over to servers. ®