Monday, April 02, 2012
Networking closely tied to virtualization
Data center operators investing heavily in virtualization need to enable collaboration between every part of the IT team, as networking, application development and other IT elements all play a key role in supporting and enabling virtual machine deployment, a recent study performed by Enterprise Management Associates found.
According to the news source, successful VM deployment is highly dependent on interaction between various departments to ensure that hardware configuration and software setups are intertwined to properly support efficient operations.
The need for collaboration between various IT groups is especially evident in the current data center climate, as operators are deploying CMs at an extremely rapid pace. More than 40 percent of the survey's respondents explained that they are not provisioning at least 500 virtual machines on a monthly basis. Many of those polled said their monthly VM provisioning count has climbed to approximately 5,000 VMs.
Manual processes are emerging as a major problem in this area. According to the survey, many respondents said they recognize the need for collaboration between departments, but are still handling most management functions manually, limiting IT's ability to collaborate effectively and streamline the networking and server infrastructure in such a way that VM deployment and maintenance challenges are eased.
Steve Garrison, Vice President of Corporate Marketing for Infoblox, the organization sponsoring the study, explained that the survey showed that the data center sector is becoming aware of the need for collaboration, but still lacks the tools they need to institute better policies.
"The survey clearly shows that enterprise IT team members acknowledge that cross-team coordination, communication, and collaboration tools are required to improve IT team efficiency and virtual deployment success," said Garrison.
Getting the network team involved in virtualization is especially important, as the increased server density that comes with VM deployment leads to more data being stored in less physical hardware. As a result, the network needs to be adjusted to handle the new bandwidth and data transit management needs established by the virtual infrastructure. Without corresponding network upgrades, virtualization can put too much stress on the communications infrastructure, detracting from the end user experience to such an extent that the overall benefits of virtualization are nullified by operational problems. Therefore, the network needs to be prioritized as part of virtualization strategies or organizations risk putting themselves in a challenging position moving forward.
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