Deploying a network virtualization platform is one thing; actually moving workloads across multiple virtual machines running on those networks is a whole other level of IT challenge.
At the VMworld 2013 conference, Silver Peak Systems announced how it intends to make moving workloads between virtual machines easier by integrating its Agility software with the new VMware NSX network virtualization platform.
Network virtualization promises to simplify the management of networks in much the same way virtualization abstracted the management of servers. But even within a virtual network, moving application workloads between virtual machines residing in different data centers is still a challenge.
With VMware, the company’s network virtualization platform is a key component of a larger push toward creating software-defined data centers. According to Silver Peak CEO David Hughes, the combination of Agility software and VMware NSW will redirect traffic between virtual machines without the need to rely on network administrators to adjust router configurations. Hughes says this means virtual machine administrators will be able to optimize the performance of different workloads by easily moving them between servers as required.
Although admins have always been able to move virtual machines around a data center, moving them between data centers has been nothing short of a complex undertaking requiring a lot of networking expertise. Silver Peak is essentially taking the core technology it developed to manage wide area network (WAN) optimization using virtual appliances and applying that to virtual networks.
Obviously, that kind of capability may not initially thrill the average network administrator. But in time, Hughes says they will come to appreciate not having to be called upon to change network configurations every time a workload must move from one virtual machine to another. This provides a big step toward making the software-defined IT environment a reality.