Optimize the management of network resources

Containing virtual sprawl by optimizing management of network resources.

As environments being more and more virtualized, the cost of computing goes down, efficiency, uptime and productivity increase and application performance is optimized. But, as with any major technology shift or revolution such as this, there are bumps in the road. That’s certainly true in the evolving data center. More flexible and scalable environments are being formed, to be sure, but there are a ton of challenges – adequately managing network resources for systems that were supposed to make our lives easier, for instance.

Why did this become a challenge? While the number of physical servers and related parts were being reduced, a potential new enemy was created: sprawl in the number of virtual machines – potentially hundreds of thousands of them. And with that sprawl, increased time and difficulty in provisioning virtual storage pools and virtual network resources. 

If you’re a network engineer or data center manager, you need to make sure business-critical processes are working properly – after all, you don’t have a lot of time to spend cataloging everything on the network. It’s not uncommon for me these days to have a conversation with overworked IT folks asking how they’re managing IP addresses – something that would normally be static and, in the past, could be done manually in a notebook or spreadsheet but which today simply doesn’t scale in this new virtual frontier. What’s needed are provisioning tools that can speed deployments, manage resources and dynamically automate for me – everything from map addresses to UIDs and zone targets – so you can work on more business-critical challenges. 

Provisioning tools can also, for instance, help an administrator to configure and simplify policy on who is able to do delegated management, how business services work with applications – like voice and messaging, which subscribers can use particular services, as well as day-to-day monitoring and troubleshooting.

In essence, these tools – some of which report 10:1 productivity improvements – can automate many of the time-sensitive and mission-critical tasks in the data center, reducing cost, time and errors, not to mention create elasticity in the environment so that resources can be allocated where needed more easily and quickly.

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About Matthew Bynum

With over 10 years of professional IT experience working in all facets of the technology industry, Matthew has amassed a broad portfolio of technology, enterprise architecture, business and IT management expertise. He also has a solid and proven understanding of the technological and architectural foundational components that are necessary to support the business systems of a company. Matthew has worked for and provided consulting services to more than 100 North American and international companies that operate within a broad array of industry verticals. Matthew has been working on Cisco networking solutions for 10 years, and holds CCIE #21753.