Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2015. Read them in this VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed article by Lee Walker, VP of Product Development at Entuity
2015 – Virtual and physical move closer together
You don't need a crystal ball to see that organisations will
continue to push data, applications and general compute power into the cloud,
as the benefits offered by virtualisation are too attractive to ignore.
However, one rather important aspect that is often
overlooked when moving systems into the cloud, is the increased reliance on the
underlying physical infrastructure. After-all, virtualised systems, and the
data bouncing between them, do not run on thin air - that's not until 2025!
For example, in addition to the problem of VM-sprawl, the
ease of creating and deploying new VMs can dramatically increase the load on
the network. In turn, the act of moving VMs around in order to spread the load
between hypervisors - more commonly automated - rarely considers whether the
network has the capacity to support the move, once completed. Then there's the
upcoming SDN technologies, some of which aim to connect end points via various
tunnelling protocols with, again, little or no visibility into the underlying
physical network. (Kudos to Cisco who, at least, recognizes the need to
consider the system as a whole and aims to combine the two pieces with its ACI
Each of the above scenarios can quickly lead to network
performance issues (bandwidth saturation, increased latency, challenging fault
isolation, security, etc.) and inadvertently impact the performance of business
critical applications. One proposed solution is to significantly over provision
the physical network. However, this option can be expensive, non-optimal, short
lived (since any spare bandwidth will inevitably get used) and, in some cases,
just not realistic.
On top of all this lies the growing complexity of managing a
combined virtual / physical network - private, public and hybrid clouds,
distributed vSwitches, virtual firewalls, ISP connections, physical switches,
routers, load balancers, servers, storage, etc. - along with the inherent
interconnectivity between the two, which quickly adds up to a big headache if
not managed properly. In turn, IT administrators who are already burdened with
a plethora of independent tools - loosely integrated, at best - will find that
far fewer and better integrated tools will become, not just more desirable but,
Wouldn't it be great if the various VM solutions could
determine ahead of time, directly or with the help of other network monitoring
tools, whether an operation was going to cause network performance issues and,
if so, adjust or postpone the operation accordingly - as opposed to going ahead
blindly and letting the network guy sort out the resulting impact. Failing
that, wouldn't it be good if network monitoring tools were aware of the
operations performed by the VM solutions and could correlate resulting changes
with impacts on the network, providing greater insight and faster resolution of
potential problems. Failing that, wouldn't it be nice if, at the very least,
the tool used to monitor the infrastructure was able to see and monitor the
entire infrastructure, both virtual and physical in one go.
This all said, with the continued migration in to the clouds,
2015 will also see increased demand for management tools that can seamlessly
bridge the virtual/physical boundary and, perhaps, even work together to share
information that can lead to better automated decision making. In turn, the
providers of such tools will need to work together, and ensure their roadmaps
are aligned to deliver the solutions users will need.
Visit the Entuity web site to find out how Entuity are
helping to bridge the virtual / physical gap.
About the Author
Lee Walker is responsible
for managing the people and processes that ultimately turn the company's
product strategy into reality, ensuring that Entuity continues to deliver high
quality, cutting-edge Network Management software to its customers in a
consistent and timely fashion.
Lee has 18 years of
experience in the Global Networking and Communications industry, developing
Network Management software products to help IT managers take control of
large-scale enterprise networks. Prior to joining Entuity, Lee worked for 3Com
and was directly responsible for driving the design and development of 3Com's
leading Network Management software systems.