In discussing the VMware vCenter Plug-in for NSX, it’s helpful to review the origination of the software-defined networking (SDN) networking management approach, along with NSX-V and NSX-T.
Founded in 2007 and acquired by VMware in 2012, Nicira focused on originating SDN. The SDN network management approach uses virtualization and containerization to make networks more flexible, efficient, and easy to work with.
The VMware approach to SDN did not first arrive from the purchase of Nicira; instead, VMware had an ongoing research and development project with a similar focus. This project was meant to extend to the networking domain VMware implemented with vSphere in the compute domain.
Around 2002, VMware lay the groundwork for network virtualization by introducing the first virtual switch (vSwitch) as part of their ESX hypervisor. VMware continued to innovate, developing networking technologies to create the VMware software-defined-data center (SDDC). This concept includes the VMware vision and technology for software-defined compute, storage, and networking.
Nicira originally had a back-end focus on research started at Stanford University and was refining the SDN concept to create a network virtualization platform. Those developments, in conjunction with VMware, made it possible to launch NSX in 2013.