According to the data provided by the agency GartnerVirtualization, as a concept, is widely accepted - nearly 40% of the x86 load was already running on virtual machines last year and this figure is expected to reach 75% by 2015. But mass acceptance of virtualization would mean moving from the Fortune 500 territory, and therefore the very large enterprise market, to the SME market.
Are SMEs ready? According to the results of a recent survey conducted by Infoblox, the answer is definitely "no".
One of the key questions was "How does your company currently track your IP addresses? ». It turned out that 40% of them still relied on manual processes, spreadsheets or even paper archives. Although 52% had migrated to software management, these were only "bundled" solutions such as Windows Active Directory.
This finding corroborates analysts' estimates of the overwhelming confidence that companies still place in manual processes or the most basic management tools. However, these can only support multiple domains or subnets with external coordination, which is itself based on the use of spreadsheets. In addition, manual coordination is often necessary between Linux and Windows. Aside from the cost of labor and the high risk of human error, such solutions pose compliance issues since there is no integrated audit trail or audit trail.
The requirements of virtualization
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Virtualization is already widely used, but in most cases it consists of combining a few application instances on a single physical server to reduce space, power and cooling requirements. Scaling to the next level, to support dynamic workloads and private cloud infrastructures, creates unprecedented levels of change and complexity.
Within the virtual datacenter, processing power must be scaled in real time, involving changes to firewalls, VLANs, QoS, security settings and many other physical or virtual elements. Automation of network changes is vital as these cannot be done manually. Keeping track of these changes also requires a system that can locate all resources and virtual machines at a glance.
According to industry analyst Jim Frey of Enterprise Management Associates: "There is very little hope that manual processes can keep pace with the changes introduced by server virtualization and cloud services: the only reasonable solution is automation. In this case, network administrators will benefit greatly from more accurate automation and more effective control of IP address management, as a key means of maintaining a highly functional, high-performance network.
Without full automation, virtualization will remain a niche technology only for very large enterprises that have already invested in flexible automated systems that can provide visibility, manage network changes and adapt to compliance rules in virtual and/or physical environments.
These companies use sophisticated yet easy-to-implement equipment that combines automation with high visibility into network health, safety policy and compliance. Such devices are capable of collecting and analyzing different network infrastructure configurations, identifying security policy violations and showing the impact of changes. In addition to supporting highly dynamic systems, such as virtualization and cloud computing, they also provide an immediate return on investment as they greatly reduce the dependence on specialized IT teams, repetitive manual tasks and logistical delays that hinder business agility.
Virtualization and Cloud Computing are technologies that promise immense benefits to the entire business community, but the vast majority of companies have not yet acquired the fundamental network capabilities necessary to reap these benefits.
Before even considering server virtualization or the Cloud solution, the first question to ask should be: "Is my network ready to support virtualization? ». Without automation, the answer is clearly "no".
Automation does not necessarily mean a massive and disruptive change in the network. Today's solutions can simply be plugged into a network (or downloaded as software in a virtual environment) and controlled via a suitable console. Nor does it require large investments, since there are basic units for small businesses as well as high-end systems for larger data centers.
The automation of network changes also addresses the dominant problem of business networks: 80% of interruptions can indeed be attributed to human errors that occur when changes are made on the network.
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Automating core IP network services such as IP address management, DNS and DHCP, and integrating them with automated changes to all network equipment such as switches, routers and firewalls is the only way to prepare today's networks for future requirements.
Infoblox was founded in 1999 and has delivered more than 40,000 boxes to over 5,000 customers worldwide. Infoblox is the leader in the automation of critical network functions with an offer covering IP services (DNS/DHCP, IP Addressing Management), configuration and change management on network equipment. Infoblox provides companies with better visibility and control of their network infrastructure. Our customers have chosen us to increase the availability of their DNS/DHCP, simplify and automate the management of their IP addressing plan, guarantee their DNS security, ensure the traceability of operations, guarantee performance, audit the compliance of their network infrastructure (PCI, SOX, HIPPA,...), with the objective of reducing their operating costs.
Infoblox is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and in France it is located in Levallois-Perret (92). It operates in more than 40 countries worldwide.
For more information : http://www.infoblox.com/en/home.html