Dealing with the complexity that virtualization brings

Bringing it together with Unified Network Management.

There have been a ton of changes recently in network security on the consolidation and virtualization front, changes that have brought with them a slew of benefits from admin and cost points of view but changes that have also increased complexity – and with it, decreased the ability for organizations to fully innovate and collaborate. And so one of the things to look for when it comes to security management is whether you can maintain consistency around the things you do while still eliminating some of the devices within your environment to achieve the innovation and collaboration you want.

Maybe, for instance, you can have virtual firewalls supporting multiple different domains but still running discreetly on the same physical box. Part of the challenge here, from a security standpoint, is to give you the capability to keep the bad stuff out and good stuff in but also to keep information from crisscrossing when it shouldn’t. Can you, if you will, create that firewall, maintain data integrity and separate, manage and secure very different domains even though they’re running on the same physical equipment?

As you start to collapse, consolidate and virtualize, a single management plan – or unified network management architecture – finally let’s you start to do that by offering more flexibility to take advantage of virtualization. Networking innovators, for instance, have really begun pushing high-performance core switches and software that does a more efficient job of uniting data center and networks. The idea is to simplify those networks with flatter designs that, for instance, eliminate the aggregation layer between the core and access layers, which can reduce latency and the need for protocols. Flatter networks also help cut down on superfluous traffic – which continues to increase particularly as cloud computing takes hold. In fact, by some estimates, server and storage virtualization now account for 75% or more of network traffic, so getting a handle on a unified approach to network management is vital moving forward.

This Unified Network Management doesn’t just dramatically simplify networks, making it easier to innovate and collaborate, it also makes day-to-day challenges easier too – like upgrades, for instance, which can be tackled from that one pane, rather than separate pieces of infrastructure. And it delivers the kind of security and manageability needed for virtual workplaces that depend increasingly on the cloud and mobile applications.

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About Ken Chan

Ken is a Solutions Architect at Softchoice and has been in the IT and telecommunications industry for over 15 years.