Cloud Computing and Virtualization
Cloud computing and virtualization are gaining momentum and are becoming a reality. But as companies virtualize their networks and move them into the cloud, what does the IT manager need to know in terms of optimizing and managing such networks? Or is this something that they can now outsource to the Service Provider? The reality is that many companies may initially run both cloud and physical network services – what’s the most efficient and user-friendly way to manage and optimize here? What actually needs to be managed and optimized? And what solutions are available?
The trend towards cloud computing is continuing unabated, Gartner has identified cloud services as representing $68 billion worldwide in 2010 which is 16.6% growth over 2009. This poses challenges for IT & Network Managers that must now deal with a complete change in the demands on their corporate networks. Applications like SAP, Oracle, Unified Communications, VoIP and telepresence all have varying performance parameters and must be treated appropriately by the WAN and therefore drastically increase the challenge of allocating bandwidth and network resources.
In addition, CIOs require the performance of each application to be guaranteed, not at the network level but at the individual user level. Enterprises are now drawing on cloud applications from both the public and private clouds using combinations of networks including MPLS, IP-VPN, Ethernet and mobile to deliver them. These demands are too much for legacy, static networks based on traditional Classes of Service (CoS) to cope with. The demands of cloud computing are outstripping the capabilities of pure MPLS networks. Savvy Service Providers such as BT Global Services, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, Colt, Easynet and Reliance Globalcom are already moving to offer control and guarantee of the application performance to end users. “Cloud-ready networks” for enterprises require additional intelligence. They must be able to sense the demands of each individual user; understand the business criticality of each application relative to other demands, be able to dynamically select the correct network for certain traffic and allocate bandwidth appropriately.
Ipanema provides the additional intelligence used by the above mentioned operators in the form its WAN Governance solution.
The key to delivering WAN Governance is Ipanema’s ‘Autonomic Networking System,’ which simply means the network can “sense and respond without the need of human intervention.” For example it’s like having an alarm clock that automatically wakes you up at a different time each day dependant on traffic volumes to ensure you get to the office in the morning on time.
By David White, Senior VP Global Business Development, Ipanema Technologies