The network balancing act.

Of virtual domains and load balancing: some benefits of network virtualization.

 It’s a common problem: by underutilizing their resources, most data centers end up deploying more servers than they need to. Those additional servers increase costs, of course, but they also create more disparate environments that are tough to manage. But now IT has the capability to buy single device items that, through virtualization, they can carve up into separate logical devices that look physically separated.

 That means you can create a virtual domain for a company or entity or line of business that’s run and managed separately, discreetly from other things in the environment even though each is sharing the same physical device.

 It also means increasing the value of your network devices and leveraging your infrastructure.

 Yet virtualization of data center infrastructure can bring with it an increase in security issues — around privacy, compliance, and business continuity, for example. So a lot of technology is being offered by vendors that can make sure, for instance, that devices coming on the network are trusted and that you don’t end up accidently putting something online or in a place where it shouldn’t be and create security issues.

 Another challenge when it comes to network virtualization centers around things like application clustering and guaranteeing that you’re getting the best performance possible in your environment. Application load balancing technologies are not new – they’ve been around for a long time, of course – but in a virtual environment, you have to make sure that as things come and go and traverse your environment, you maintain the flexibility and elasticity you need while ensuring that everything is running at optimal performance.

 With technology like switch virtualization, you can create multiple, virtualized load balancers from a single switch, and partition device resources in multiple virtual switches giving you, among other things, robust isolation of network traffic that would usually need firewalls and the like.

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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.