In the April 24, 2014 report by Gartner, Inc. VMware was placed in the Visionaries Quadrant for Data Center Networking. The report marks the first year that a software infrastructure provider has been included.
According to Gartner, "Today, the data center network market is being transformed with new architectures, technologies and vendors specifically targeting solutions to address the increasing requirement to improve and simplify network operations activities to align more closely with business goals and broader data center orchestration agility, the changing size and density within the data center and shifts in application traffic patterns." The report continues: "The decoupling of hardware and software represents the potential for a fundamental improvement in how networks are designed, procured, managed and evolved. The potential for long-term innovation that could emerge with an open SDN-based marketplace is clearly disruptive to today's hardware-centric model." Finally, the report noted, "Rather than completely re-architecting the physical network, software-centric overlay technologies are emerging as a frequent discussion point with network designers and data center architects."
"We believe the fact that Gartner positioned VMware as the only pure-play software infrastructure provider in the Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking is evidence that the world of networking is changing forever," said Steve Mullaney, senior vice president and general manager, Networking and Security Business Unit, VMware. "Customers now have two distinct data center architectures from which to choose, one defined by software and the other by hardware. VMware's vision focuses on decoupling networking software from hardware to deliver the agile software-defined data center of the future. Our VMware NSX(TM) network virtualization platform promises to free customers from the rigidity, cost and complexity of traditional hardware networking approaches in the data center."