As we look back on the last couple of weeks there was a lot of news about networking that we are still taking in. The networking industry is evolving and there are important considerations to make as you build out your networks. We are seeing an ever increasing need for bandwidth, a need for greater application awareness and the need to quickly provision, trouble shoot and adapt the network to ensure application performance and availability. As a result we are seeing a transition to software defined networks. If you are building networks to serve your business then you are probably considering how your choices today will affect your ability to respond to the changes that come in the future. How do you get to where you need to be? What is best for your organization?
The data center infrastructure is evolving. Application architectures have become more distributed; compute has gone from dedicated hosts to hypervisors, and storage has become converged and shared. The challenge facing organizations is that they need to evolve the network to better serve the business. The network must evolve and become simpler and flatter, more automated, more open and more integrated with the rest of the environment. A simple and flat network delivers the performance, management and orchestration aspects necessary for businesses to stay agile. Let’s take a look at how we make this happen.
There is a train of thought that is popular with some network vendors and long time network engineers that there is a compelling need to “orchestrate” the physical network and the virtualised-networking world. This is mostly expressed as a desire to ensure that VLANs are synchronised between the physical network switches and the virtual switches on the virtualisation hosts.
My colleague Russell Skingsley has an interesting take on the effects of latency on virtualized application performance. The purpose of virtualization is to optimize resource utilization. As Russell pointed out it isn’t just an academic conversation. For the cloud hosting provider it’s about revenue maximization. Network latency has a direct impact on virtualized application performance and therefore revenue for the service provider. Your choice of network infrastructure will impact your business, but it can be difficult to see how investing in high performance networking solutions will improve your business. I will try to connect the dots.