Breaking Down Data Center Boundaries

Michael Vizard

One of the trends that many people have been closely watching is the level of convergence that we'll see in the data center with rise of virtualization.

Right now there is a debate on over whether that convergence will be driven more by the rise of new integrated servers or more comprehensive approaches to network and systems management.

One company that is betting on the latter approach is Zeus, which has a software-only approach to delivering an application delivery controller (ADC) that competes with hardware-centric offerings from companies such as F5 Networks and Citrix Systems.

Zeus CTO David Day says the time for a software-only approach to SDC is now because with the advent of cloud computing, customers need an approach to managing bandwidth allocation that can scale up and down as virtual machines get deployed and move about the network.

What's interesting about a software-only approach is that it, at least in theory, can give the people who manage virtual machines a lot more control over bandwidth, as opposed to having to ask dedicated network managers for assistance. That capability essentially furthers the idea of convergence within the data center.

Most recently, F5 Networks said it is also readying a virtual machine implementation of its ADC offering, so the fact that ADC technology can be delivered sans hardware is gaining some momentum. The only real question seems to be is how far will this convergence will take us in terms of real systems and network management integration?

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