E-GuideVirtualization implementation andmanagement: A networkperspectiveVirtualization has gone from IT buzzword to IT sta...
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SearchNetworking.com E-Guide                     Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspectiveSwitch...
SearchNetworking.com E-Guide                      Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspectivesecur...
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E-Guide: Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspective

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Virtualization has gone from IT buzzword to IT staple, so it’s vital for networking professionals to understand how server virtualization and networks affect each other. This expert E-Guide highlights best practices for managing virtualization networking, distributed virtual switching, network capacity planning for virtualization and more. Uncover the top five virtualization problems and key recommendations to tackle them.

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  1. 1. E-GuideVirtualization implementation andmanagement: A networkperspectiveVirtualization has gone from IT buzzword to IT staple, so it’s vital fornetworking professionals to understand how server virtualization andnetworks affect each other. This expert E-Guide highlights bestpractices for managing virtualization networking, distributed virtualswitching, network capacity planning for virtualization and more.Uncover the top five virtualization problems and key recommendationsto tackle them. Sponsored By:
  2. 2. SearchNetworking.com E-Guide Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspective E-Guide Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspective Table of Contents VLAN guide for networking professionals Top Five Virtualization Problems: Building a private cloud Resources from Dell VMwareSponsored By: Page 2 of 8
  3. 3. SearchNetworking.com E-Guide Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspectiveVLAN guide for networking professionalsBy Elaine J. Hom, Associate Editor and Rivka Little, Site EditorFor years, virtual LANs have played an important role in basic enterprise networking,enabling engineers to segment portions of their networks for security, management andscalability. The emergence of virtualization and cloud computing networks only makesunderstanding VLAN implementation more important. VLANs are key to providingmanagement in a world of virtualization, even where virtual machines are constantlymigrating, challenging the very basics of network management. In this guide, learn aboutold and new uses of VLANs in everything from wireless LANs to data center networks.What is a VLAN?Before implementing or managing a VLAN, one must understand what a VLAN is. A VLAN, orvirtual (logical) LAN, is a local area network with definitions that map workstations based onanything except geographic location. For example, a VLAN might have a definition thatmaps workstations by department, type of user, and so on. The benefits of VLANs includeeasier management of workstations, load balancing, bandwidth allocation and tightersecurity.VLANs become even more efficient when coupled with server virtualization. In a virtualizeddata center environment, the VLAN strings the physical servers together and creates aroute. By allowing virtual machines to move across physical servers in the same VLAN,administrators can keep tabs on the virtual machines and manage them more efficiently.Whats the best way to configure a VLAN?There are three ways of configuring a VLAN: static, dynamic and port-centric. Theconfiguration will be based on the needs of the VLAN. For example, for more security,administrators opt for a static VLAN, which assigns the VLAN membership to a switchs port;whereas a dynamic VLAN assigns the VLAN membership to the MAC address of the host ordevice.Sponsored By: Page 3 of 8
  4. 4. SearchNetworking.com E-Guide Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspectiveSwitches that support VLANs establish the VLAN by either frame-tagging or filtering, both ofwhich look at the frame and decide where it should be sent. Frame tagging "tags" a frameto keep track of it as it travels through the switchs fabric. Frame filtering examines specificinformation from each frame through a filtering table that is developed for the switch,allowing for examination of many different frame attributes. But frame filtering is lessscalable than frame tagging because each frame needs to be referenced to a filter table.Frame tagging is considered the most efficient way to go, according to IEEE 802.1q.Configuring VLANs for server virtualizationVLANs and server virtualization go hand in hand. Server virtualization allows organizationsto reduce the number of physical servers in the data center and provide scalable flexibilityto other business needs, such as business applications. VLANs are integral to a virtualizedenvironment thanks to the mobile nature of virtual machines.The associated layer 2 services must be supported by the network mechanisms, and thebest way to do this is to limit virtual machine mobility to physical servers in the same VLAN.By placing many servers in a single VLAN and limiting the virtual machines to that VLAN,there is easy migration of virtual machines between the physical servers. Not only do VLANsenable free movement of the virtual machines, they also allow network administrators totrack them, keeping them secure and easily manageable.One of the major challenges in server virtualization is in data center network configuration,and this includes VLANs. Many server virtualization products include extensive support for802.1q VLAN tags. Data center network admins must configure VLANs on the switches tointeract with the physical servers running the server virtualization software. Improperlyconfigured VLAN settings can cause connectivity disruption for any workload running on thatphysical server.VLAN and the wireless LAN (WLAN)VLAN trunking can be applied to wireless networking to help prioritize traffic. VLAN accesspoints (APs) can be set up to work as multiple virtual WLAN infrastructures, using VLANs forvarying levels of security -- some for low-security guest Internet access, others for minimal-Sponsored By: Page 4 of 8
  5. 5. SearchNetworking.com E-Guide Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspectivesecurity enterprise users, a high-security VLAN for administrators, and so on. Using VLAN802.1q tags, a network administrator can map wireless traffic to multiple VLANs and assignpriority.How exactly does this work? Wireless AP traffic is concentrated through an 802.1q-capablewireless switch or gateway; the device tags the packets before forwarding them. Throughappropriate tagging, the packets move onto roles defined by the tags, whether the role beguest or employee.With administrative traffic kept isolated from end-user traffic, network administrators canbreathe a little easier, knowing that wireless data is being routed properly thanks to VLANtagging.Troubleshooting VLANsEven after VLANs have been implemented properly and efficiently, it is inevitable thatnetwork administrators and managers will run into problems. Troubleshooting VLANs is notquite as simple as troubleshooting a traditional network. Its relatively easy to tell if anetwork device isnt performing. But in a switched network with virtual trunks and paths,its not always easy to tell whats making a network run slowly. Plugging in that protocolanalyzer isnt going to cut it for troubleshooting VLANs, and the resources below will helpyou monitor the problems.Sponsored By: Page 5 of 8
  6. 6. SearchNetworking.com E-Guide Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspectiveTop five virtualization problems: Building a privatecloudBy Josh Stephens, Fast Packet BloggerNow that you’re comfortably driving down the virtualization road and you’ve put some milesbehind you, most likely you’re starting to get concerned about the cloud. Of course, itdoesnt help that your managers and executives keep asking you about it, and every timeyou open an IT magazine every other word is “cloud.” But what does building a privatecloud actually mean?In the past, every time I heard or read about the cloud I got a little more aggravated. Imean, it was a marketing term and it didn’t really mean anything; yet I couldn’t seem toget away from it. Luckily, cloud is no longer just fluff, and I’ve grown to love this nebulouslittle bit of marketing-turned-technology.Lets start by defining the difference between a public and private cloud. Public cloud simplymeans that you’re paying someone else, such as Amazon, Rackspace or Microsoft, toprovide computing resources for you. They absorb all of the headaches of provisioning andmanaging the machines, and you just pay for what you need. Elasticity is a big selling pointas you can easily scale up or down as your requirements change.Ultimately, the private cloud is nothing more than an evolution of your own data center andthe way that you think about compute resources. There really isn’t a finite line you cross inorder to become a private cloud -- except maybe the ability to provide the followingfeatures: Elasticity of resources Ease of provisioning Accounting of useIn cloud nirvana, departments within your organization would be able to automaticallyprovision their own computing resources, getting more or less as their requirementsdemanded. Their usage would be tracked and automatically billed back to their department.Your infrastructure would self-optimize based upon available capacity and requestedSponsored By: Page 6 of 8
  7. 7. SearchNetworking.com E-Guide Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspectivecomputing needs. That, at least, is what most people think of when they think of privatecloud. However, most of us will never see that sort of environment and many of us neverwant to.Building a private cloud is really more of an attitude adjustment than a technologyinvestment. It means that when you deploy technology, you’re going to do so with the threetenants listed above in mind. It means that you won’t sacrifice ease of provisioning for costor performance. It means that you’ll work towards being able to show each department itsshare of the computing expense. It also means that you’ll continue to optimize capacity andenforce elasticity.Best of all, the next time your boss asks you when you’re going to start doing cloudcomputing, you can say that you already did.About the Author: Josh Stephens is head geek and VP of technology at SolarWinds.Sponsored By: Page 7 of 8
  8. 8. SearchNetworking.com E-Guide Virtualization implementation and management: A network perspectiveResources from Dell VMwareNetworking Best Practices for VMware® Infrastructure 3 on Dell™ PowerEdge™Blade ServersThe Benefits of SMB Virtualization using Dell and VMware – IT Efficiency forOrganizations of all SizesThe Power of Virtualization: A Management Series for SMB, Part 1 – VirtualizationFundamentalsSponsored By: Page 8 of 8

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