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Show Notes – Unlocking the Potential of Virtualization

July 29, 2009
at 12:00 pm PST

Looking for Show Notes? Our latest Data Center Episode “Unlocking the Potential of Virtualization” featuring the debut of our Data Center Expert, Steve Phillips! (Register to watch live on 7/30 and available to watch as a VoD right after!)The technology covered in this show is both new and difficult to understand…yet so fundamental to understanding and solving this challenge of how we leverage the benefits of server virtualization without handicapping it by forcing traditional, very physical, networking model.We had approached doing this show originally as a 30 minute show -- it quickly morphed into a one hour version but it looks like it will come in under an hour. The four segment style yielded:1. The Real Impediments to Virtualization2. Understanding VN-Link and the Nexus 1000v3. Network Interface Virtualization4. Virtualization and your Storage EnvironmentThe key point for me in all this is that the ability to create ‘virtual machines’ to dramatically increase the utilization of a given server is of course hugely beneficial…but the communication between these machines (the networking) had been introduced rather rashly…out of necessity. Having server guys, who usually don’t have the time, background or inclination to be experts at networking, overseeing the networking component that is now hidden in software is the beginning of a dangerous situation. Not that these guys mean harm by any means…but its like the not so old days…where when something starts working (as defined by passing traffic) Joe User/Naive Administrator does not keep working on it. If it ‘passes traffic’ then why keep working on it? The answer to that is largely one of policy but hopefully one today of common sense. We can’t be naive and put our organization risk..but that is what is happening.There is another issue however -- flipping from the ‘You need to do this or you will die’..the stereo-typical security oriented approach I broached above, we also have the more positive angles referenced in our title: How can we unlock the real benefits of virtualization? In an overly simplistic explanation, server virtualization is not about the individual machine..its about the collective compute power and flexibility we can leverage as we dis intermediate and essentially rise above the constraints of our physical hardware. The biggest areas to strive for here would be Virtual Machine Mobility that could be done both withing a local data center but now we are showing how that can also be done over large geographic distances. What is the benefit here? Beyond incredible options for efficiency…this is also about the freedom to shift load based on user demand, power consumption/cost fluctuations, geographic independence for reliability and service levels, on and on and on. None of these benefits are available however without the ability to free ourselves from the constraints of a mature networking model. The good thing? We know how networking works…we know how to monitor it, we know how to control it, we know how to protect it. Networking folks had been left out of the virtualization game initially..but that has changed. Who benefits? The business for one..we can eliminate the hidden risks thrust upon us…but, we can also now leverage incredible upside that virtualization offers. How? That my friend is what this episode is about!Beyond the show…what else could you check out? -- Bookmark the “Data Center of the Future” site -- this is THE central hub of info from Cisco: http://www.cisco.com/go/dcof -- Delicious Bookmarks…we have a lot of content…check out the tags for helping you find when we talked about a certain topic: http://delicious.com/ciscoCIN (you can help me tag too!) -- Great Starting Point for understanding more on VN-Link: Virtual Machine Aware Network and Storage Services You can also download the trial software here and play with it yourself! -- Nice Nexus 1000v Switch Demo -- Track all the stuff coming out of our Data Center Team at their Feed Watch which will take you to their blog..but quite honestly..I would just follow their blog..they have some great people who will shoot you straight! -- As we dive deeper on the storage part of this equation…check out this series on where the MDS 9000 fits in a Unified Fabric Strategy And more…!Cameron Sturdivant Article in e-week on Nexus 1000vNexus 1000v Product Page (cisco.com)Colin’s Blog EntryVN Link Technical Primer (Great White Paper)I sure hope you guys enjoy the show We are just about to embark upon a whole new production model in this fiscal year and we are looking forward to new level of fun, creativity and learning and story-telling. This will be the start of Year 4! Gosh. Cisco is still letting us play…thank gosh. We can tell you guys are looking at this blog in high numbers…thank you! But drop us a line! Please add a quick comment even if it is to say “Keep it Up.” But if you have ideas…even better! Let me know what you think!

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2 Comments.


  1. I do not have any solutions to offer or confer for. I just want to give positive praise for ease of discovery on the site and breadth of informative and in-depth information provided on this site. So, keep it up.Jeremy

       0 likes

  2. Robb Boyd

    Jeremy,Thanks for taking the time to drop a note – highly appreciated! Did you get a chance to watch the show today? Regardless – thank you!Robb

       0 likes