Data center operations today are most of the time too static to provide the flexibility that customers are looking for. Resource optimization does not take place as there is no option to redistribute computing power easily and the use of one server for more than one service (consolidation) is often a risk. The requirements for 7x24x365 operations do require that installation and provisioning of new hardware that replaces a failed system is very effective. Security is typically separated in logical layers: every layer is connected to one or several VLANs and is connected with the others though a Firewall. Services from different layers can´t share the same VLAN (Virtual LAN).
To address these challenges virtualization does occur today on all levels in IT – storage, server, networking, applications. The promise to increase the effectiveness, reduce response times and to drive down costs drives this evolution. When virtualized services are provided within a data center then the network has to be auto configured so the total operation cost remains at a minimum level and the security remains at a very high level. Virtualization optimizes the usage of existing resources and so maximizes the return of investment.
Markus Nispel, Enterasys Networks Germany GmbH