Who Invited You?
We were asked several times last week by several separate reports and press types some fun questions like, “Why is Cisco here at VMWare World?” and “What does Cisco have to do with Virtualization?” Some were even quite challenging which always makes for a fun day! So I figured I would put an answer together or at least a few thoughts…Have you ever tried to move a virtual machine from one server to another? How about doing it from one rack to another? You may find it gets hard especially if the access layer switches are in different subnets. In fact you can do it but then DNS breaks, your connections break, etc…Have you ever had two servers that require their own security profiles? That may need to be on separate networks or segmented from each other by a firewall? If this is the case you need to preserve network segmentation THROUGH the hypervisor yet linked with the network. Preferably in a way that doesn’t do what I often refer to as ‘tromboning’ of traffic between different places. In a low-bandwidth or very latency sensitive environment this can be sub-optimal. Have you ever had a broadcast storm on your network? If you move a MAC address from one port to another across different switches the upstream devices may take several minutes to clear out their CAM table timers. Until cleared traffic will either go the wrong place, or at worst go everywhere causing other devices around the data center to have to parse the traffic and determine it is not for them. This causes an interrupt and consumes bandwidth and CPU with no benefit.There area few examples of why Cisco is partnering with VMWare and how we feel that a network approach with a server virtualization approach can benefit all of the IT professionals who work in the data center. But to put some icing on the cake let me add one more: Some day please provision a VMWare Server Guest OS for me, load a web server on it. Then without touching anything in the network bring it into production without configuring a switch, router, load balancer, or firewall ye maintain compliance with the operational procedures and governance and regulatory compliance guidelines that are necessary to run a responsible business or government entity in today’s wonderfully litigious society. Since I think the above is tacitly impossible let’s agree that we need three things to execute an IT workload. 1) Something to process data – we may call these things ‘Servers’ :)2) Something to store data before and after processing – ‘Storage’.3) Something to move data from where it is being stored to where it is being processed and to the humans who want to see the results of this processing – ‘Networks’ if I may.Take any one away and your data center is dead. Work together, collaborate, integrate, and share resources, ideas, and operational best practices and virtualization will be an enabling technology across all three that transforms your business capabilities and efficiencies.dg