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How virtualization was stolen from network admins

Wesley Noonan from NetIQ writes an interesting take on NetworkWorld about how he believes virtualization was "stolen" from network admins.  This was a really interesting read:

While virtualization is definitely stirring up all sorts of issues for server admins, when I first started looking at it and working with it, I found myself thinking “I’ve been doing this forever on the network”. Albeit slightly backwards, the concept of a virtualized resource has been implemented in network devices for years now. Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) and Gateway Load Balancing Protocol (GLBP) have been around for some time now and allow a “virtual gateway/router” to exist so that if a physical router fails, traffic will continue to be passed properly by the backup. In a lot of ways, that sounds to me like what VMware VMotion does - if the physical server (router) fails, VMotion (VRRP/HSRP/GLBP) will ensure that another server (router) is able to continue servicing requests.

Even more direct of a comparison though is the tried and true VLAN. You have a hub/switch, but you need to have multiple subnets running on it. In the old days, this meant buying more devices (in those days probably hubs) and winding up with an unmanageable sprawl of network devices. You can consolidate all of those network devices into a smaller subset, but still keep the isolation of network segments by simply creating a VLAN for each network segment. One switch (or at least a subset of the original switches) while still having the same number of subnets. This sounds strikingly similar to how you can consolidate all those physical servers down virtual machines running on a handful of physical servers.

Read his entire post, here.

Published Saturday, January 05, 2008 10:10 AM by David Marshall
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