If you’re an IT professional, you’re probably hearing a lot of buzz about how virtualization, SDN and cloud technology can boost the agility and efficiency of your business. If you’re like most other IT professionals, you are probably still confused about how exactly these technologies will deliver on these promises. Given the high decibel levels, it’s easy for the actual message to be drowned out by all the noise.
The key is to establish a formula that helps you achieve just the right mix of network virtualization and SDN that will pave your path to the cloud. But finding this perfect formula - even if you are fairly knowledgeable about virtualization and SDN is easier said than done.
Here are a few things to think about when considering your migration to the cloud:
While virtualization or SDN might be no-brainers for your network, what happens if you can only virtualize certain parts of your data center network, or if you have to roll out your SDN project in phases? You end up with physical and virtual silos in separate data centers, or islands of SDN—a sure sign of virtualization gone wrong that undermines your desired agility. To avoid these potential shortcomings, you need a network that can span boundaries and break connectivity barriers.
Do you want to carry maps of your virtual (overlay) and physical (underlay) networks around in your head? Obviously not. Instead, you need tools that can act as a GPS for your network, helping you to navigate, visualize, monitor and analyze what is happening at every layer to simplify operations. Better yet, you need a tool that lets you easily track the life history of your virtual machines (VMs)—so you know where they were, where they are going, how they will get there and so on.
Rather than spending late nights trying to integrate myriad disparate network elements, what if you adopted an open architecture instead? Not only would it make your integration go a lot smoother, open architectures and standards-based technologies also save you from lock-in hell—without obliterating your opex budget.
If automating operations to be more agile sounds painful, then simply increase the level of automation by implementing tools based on commonly used scripting languages like Python or popular packages based on Chef or Puppet. This greatly reduces the pain of scripting while giving network admins a way to progressively move into more automated environments.
Want more specifics about efficiently moving to the cloud? Check out this video to understand how to avoid confusion and arrive at the right formula that will move you towards true agility.