Virtualization Nightmares on the Network

Michael Vizard

As virtualization continues to evolve, it's becoming clearer that enterprise networks are going to be increasingly put to the network management test in ways never seen before.

This is because as virtualization becomes more volatile, there is going to be a lot more movement of virtual machines across the network. And just to make things more interesting, users are going to be trying to access more servers than ever across wide area networks as the number of servers continues to proliferate.

Alas, when it comes to finding out what is happening on the server and even the application level, networks managers are far too often left to their own devices. The people running the servers and managing the applications are usually far too busy to share information about what is happening in their realms with the network team, even though the performance of those systems is usually dependent on a whole range of network services being made available to them.

And there's the rub. If virtual machines are going to start moving at a moment's notice, network managers are going to need to find some way to discover that. One company trying to solve this problem is Netcordia, which just released version 4.0 of its NetMRI service. NetMRI provides an online tool that automatically updates network managers about any changes on the network and then provides a way for network managers to remotely change configurations when appropriate.

Eventually, most network management tools will come up to speed in terms of being able to support virtualization. The only real question is will that happen before we see virtual machines flying across the network at will?

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