There is not really much I can add to the debate on NSX vs ACI except to share my opinion on a few things.
Let’s look at the world as it is today. It is a virtual world. At least 80% of workloads in most datacenters today are virtualized. So that leaves roughly 20% of workloads as physical. How often do physical workloads move to different servers, racks, datacenters etc? Not very often right? You rack them, you cable them, you plug them in, you configure the port(s) and that is basically where it lives for the rest of it days. Any rules or policies you need for those machines get created and that’s it.
Now let’s look at the virtual side of the house. You have virtual machines that get spun up, spun down, scaled up, scaled down, moved from one physical server to another, moved to a different rack and possibly a different datacenter. All of this is happening automatically. No manual intervention needed. It is extremely important that these workloads are secured no matter where they are running or how long they are running for.
I don’t know about you, but I personally don’t really see how ACI can add anywhere near the value NSX can add to 80% of the dynamic workloads in the datacenter. I can certainly see ACI having benefits for the physical workloads in the environment. This goes back to my theory as to why does it have to be one or the other. Really it would be great to see Cisco and VMware work together and really make a difference in the datacenter. The good news however is that VMware and Arista are better together and making a difference in the datacenter.
I’m not going to get into the Arista VMware relationship in this article, but google it and you will find some good info. Why can’t we all get along and do what is best for the customer and their datacenter.
Here are some articles that I found to be interesting on the subject: