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Virtualization World 365: Server virtualization, hardware consolidation, virtual machines, P2V transformation, physical to virtual transformation
The two questions that must be asked before making any purchasing decisions are;
At the most basic level, an application delivery solution must seamlessly integrate into the virtual server environment to ensure the performance and availability of all applications running on virtual machines. The immediate result will be an agile virtualisation infrastructure, one that maximises the agility, performance and resilience of the virtual data centre, while keeping operational and capital costs down.
If only it was as simple as that!
Virtualisation – One of Today’s Hottest Trends
While the scope of virtualisation may differ among different size organizations, the business drivers for the virtual data centre are the same -- it is about creating a consolidated, cost-effective, agile, extremely available and highly-performing data centre.
Getting Virtualised: A Layered Approach
The speed at which this take is completed depends very much on the number and type of data centre applications there are and how critical these are to the business. Increasingly, the trend is for IT managers to start the virtualisation processes by virtualising the less critical applications, getting this right before moving on to the business critical applications.
The second layer concerns the virtualisation and consolidation of the network and infrastructure. This includes access, aggregation and distribution switches, routers, firewalls, as well as application delivery controllers (ADC) – designed to enable the transition from a siloed architecture to a flatter, less tiered virtualised network design.
What is the impact on the application delivery layer and the Application Delivery Controllers (ADC)?
The answer is - significant. Re-architecting the network infrastructure from a siloed architecture to a flatter, less tiered virtualised network impacts the role of the ADC, its position and its deployment models. Previously the ADC managed a single application, or used a complex, shared configuration model; now it’s required to service the entire layer of virtualised applications sharing a common server infrastructure.
To address this, a virtualised application delivery infrastructure layer is needed. The implementation of this will not only provide alignment, but also will provide each application with an application delivery service capable of meeting its service level agreements (SLAs) and performance predictability needs.
To create a truly virtualised application delivery infrastructure, the IT team needs to separate the ADC services from the underlying computing resources, similar to the way applications and application operating systems are separated from their computing resources during server virtualisation.
How is this done?
Not only will this bridge the underlying hardware resources and support the various applications in terms of SLA and performance predictability, it will remove the inherent challenges of ADC consolidation. It will also deliver maximum agility to the application delivery space. Correctly configured, it will transform a ‘standard’ application delivery infrastructure into a ‘virtual’ application delivery solution able to support all the application delivery needs of the data centre.
A VADI makes the consolidation and virtualisation of application delivery services integral to the virtual data centre architecture. This reduces the risks of ADC consolidation because it ensures application delivery resilience and performance predictability, improves data centre business agility and increases IT efficiency, with the added benefit of dramatically reducing the cost of application delivery deployments.
What role do ADCs play in a virtual data centres
To meet the unfolding needs of the business and the virtualised data centre, ADCs can be in one of three form factors -- a dedicated physical ADC device, virtualised ADC on a custom-made hardware, or soft ADC on general-purpose servers. The virtualised ADC approach enables multiple virtual ADC instances to be consolidated without compromising ADC service resilience or performance guaranties. This agility and the simplicity are vital to support the dynamic, ever-changing needs of virtualised data centres.
In terms of wider business benefits, operationally it drives faster deployment of new services and better alignment of ADC services against configuration changes. The reduced footprint and equipment needs introduce significant hardware cost savings, reduced management resources and related costs, less cabling and a major reduction in building capacity, power and cooling OPEX.
Conclusion: How do you plan a large scale data centre virtualisation project?
The answer is to gradually integrate. Consolidate the two core elements, server virtualisation, and network/application delivery virtualisation. This will create unprecedented visibility and flexibility including end-to-end service provisioning of servers, storage, ADC service and resources, for example, as well as application SLA resource adaptations and service migration within, or across, multiple data centres.
By implementing a virtual application delivery infrastructure, IT managers of large enterprises, data centres, carriers, cloud and hosting providers, will gain the following benefits:
• Significant costs reduction via ADC consolidation,
Tags: Server Virtualization
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