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 [Read more…]

Manage servers in your sleep.

Further reducing routine maintenance of your environment with dynamic provisioning and automation.

 In the last post, I likened the virtualized application model to an organism of sorts, where each individual component can work together virtually as a dynamic pool of resources. But what happens when something isn’t working as it should?

 Well, that’s really where the next logical step in your organization’s virtualization evolution comes in, one central management console that understands all the pieces plugged in – in essence, one single point to look at where you can automate and resolve issues and reduce routine maintenance of your environment, what we call: dynamic provisioning and automation.

 For instance, say a server turns off in the middle of the night. Where you are already in your virtualization evolution, you’ve written the required rules to ensure that your applications move through or are taken over by other functioning parts of your organism, other servers, and they continue to run like before. This sort of automation ensures that you won’t have to do anything immediately. You may get notified so that first thing in the morning you can have a look at the physical environment and do some troubleshooting via your central console, but you essentially bypass the usual human remediation process and let the software handle the issue for you.

 The same goes for provisioning the amount of resources needed for any given application to run on a server. [Read more…]