It’s Time to Simplify Virtual and Physical Network Management

Virtualization has expanded in the data center as organizations seek to maximize the use of resources and simplify operations and management. What’s left to complete this transformation in the final step towards a software defined data center (SDDC)? The network, of course.

But the reality is that networks are complex. They also support the business-critical applications and workloads that today’s businesses rely on to operate, compete and grow. The reliance on apps and workloads to run and support the business means that workloads must operate at peak efficiency. Fast is a business imperative, and your network infrastructure needs to provide the performance, stability, and scale that can deliver that speed, both from a physical and virtual perspective.

Physical and virtual networks need to work together to support and accelerate business speed. At the same time, a lack of visibility into the underlying physical network and its correlation with the supported virtual overlays means network managers waste time correcting mistakes when deploying and managing virtual networks. That can hinder your ability to bring up new network services quickly and efficiently.

The challenge that remains is how to ensure the physical underlay network is provisioned and optimized for virtual environments. In order to do that we need to simplify management across physical and virtual networks. Here’s why:

  1. Ease the creation and production of an efficient fabric network. Automation makes the time-consuming process of creating and deploying an open, simple, and efficient network easier while also verifying it will operate as intended without the need for manual intervention. Automation enables a trail of all changes made to the network and can be used to audit the compliance of network configuration to Business Policies. By enabling only a few intents or templates for network configuration, we also reduce the maze of changes that can happen – Keep it simple principle.
  2. Eliminate error-prone manual processes. Making changes to the physical layer can be a complex, time-consuming process fraught with the potential for errors that impact a business’ ability to act fast.
  3. Gain fabric visibility. Comprehensive and highly intuitive visualization of the time-series data and other telemetry information greatly simplifies the day-to-day operations of the fabric and ensures that the physical and virtual layers of the core networks are synchronized. Visibility and correlation between Physical and Overlay would help debugging, monitoring and capacity planning.
  4. Improve fabric lifecycle management. Automating the download, install and verify process ensures that fabric switches are upgraded with the right images.
  5. Reduce OpEx. Reduce overhead associated with manual tasks and troubleshooting and reallocate valuable resources to business-critical initiatives. In a typical Data Center, OpEx is the major of the costs and Fabric automation addresses the heart of the problem – namely OpEx.

Simplified, unified management across physical and virtual networks not only eliminates the need to rely on multiple management screens and manual processes, it also enables organizations to embrace software-defined networking and realize the benefits of moving away legacy hardware-bound technologies to modern, open technologies that are software-driven and driving innovation.

Co-architected by Dell Technologies and VMware, Dell EMC SmartFabric Director helps organizations accelerate data center transformation through more agile central management across virtual and physical network infrastructures. Tight integration between Dell EMC SmartFabric Director and VMware vSphere and NSX-T ensures the seamless functioning of application workloads in a VMware software-defined data center.

Learn more about how Dell EMC SmartFabric Director enables a more agile and simplified central management across both virtual and physical network infrastructures, visit here.

About the Author: Ram Haridasa

Ram Haridasa is a Sr. Product Manager in Dell Technologies Networking Business Unit focusing on Smart Fabric Director and Integration with VMware Solutions. Ram has been in Networking industry for many years developing products and solutions for Enterprise and Service Provider Customers.