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Five New Virtualization Challenges Impacting IT Pros and Data Center Management

As virtualization capabilities are built into networking, storage,applications and databases giving shape to the software defined datacenter, problems with management and visibility across data centerboundaries will emerge. A recent survey by SolarWinds, aleading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software,revealed that more than 700 IT professionals in six countries acrossthe globe agreed virtualization technology contributes significantlyto management challenges, indicating the impact is undeniable and vast.

With the software defined data center transition an imminent reality,the following five management challenges should be on every IT pro'sradar in preparation:

1. Virtual Mobility Impacts Network Optimization - Virtualization has typically operated within a contained portion of the network such that changes in the virtualization environment didn't usually impact the broader network. With improvements and increased adoption of workload mobility technologies like Metro vMotion and storage vMotion that make it easier to move workloads geographically, the rapidmovement of workloads could cause new problems for the overall enterprise network.

2. Storage Tries to Keep Up with Virtual Mobility & Software-Defined Networks - Just like virtual mobility can impact networks, if both compute and networks become more software-defined and flexible then storage can get left behind.Advanced planning and technology investments will be required for storage to make sure that the storage systems can handle the mobility enabled by server virtualization and software-defined networking.

3. The Virtual I/O Blender Becomes Mission Critical - Storage I/O hasbeen a limiting factor for virtualizing many I/O intensiveapplications like databases. With technologies like solid state disk(SSD) opening the door to many of these mission criticalapplications, failures in performance and capacity management willhave an even greater impact on the business and end users. Further,IOPS demand created by desktop virtualization can be significantlydifferent than server virtualization, requiring more low-latency, andusually more expensive hardware.

4. Application Control Meets Real-time Automation - Most failures are caused by something changing. As a result, applications teams have traditionally put very tight controls on changes to mission critical application systems.Virtualization and automation on the other hand, make it very fast and easy to create new systems or make changes to existing systems or even entire clusters of systems and application stacks. These two cultures will have to find ways to leverage the power and flexibility of virtualization without introducing instability into critical virtualized applications.

5. Virtualization Reaches Across Silos - Network, storage, applications, and compute all come together at the virtualization layer. While server virtualization is by far the mostmature component of a software defined data center, the nextchallenge will be to look outside the compute boundaries to figureout how to best manage and coordinate changes/actions with other technology areas. As the pace of change increases across all the interrelated technology, the IT professionals managing the virtualization layer will increasingly have to be the coordinating "glue" to keep other teams aligned.

SolarWinds Solutions to Help Manage the Software Defined Data Center

Virtualization and software defined resource management has created a management gap across the data center. As management gets more complex, it will no longer be feasible to manage applications,virtual servers, physical servers, storage and networking as separate, independent silos. SolarWinds delivers powerful and easy-to-use comprehensive virtualization management as well as integrated views into the application, storage and network environments needed to manage the complexity of today's evolving datacenter. IT pros can deploy SolarWinds solutions, including:

  • SolarWinds Virtualization Manager - comprehensive virtualization management
  • SolarWinds Server & Application Monitor - agentless application and server monitoring
  • SolarWinds Storage Manager - multi-vendor storage performance and capacity management
  • SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor - network monitoring and management
Published Thursday, August 22, 2013 7:34 AM by David Marshall
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