By Gladys Alegre-Kimura, Global Product Marketing Manager, HP Networking
Introducing IMC Virtual Application Manager Module: the beginning of the end for CLI?
Yes, the new HP innovations I’m going to discuss with you today will mark the beginning of the end for legacy command line interface (CLI)-based network configurations. CLI will soon be the exception rather than the rule.
With the advent of cloud computing, networks based on legacy architectures are at a tipping point and are not prepared to deliver the rollout of applications quickly or provide reliable quality of experience expected by users.
What is wrong with the legacy networks today?
First of all, legacy networks are application indifferent. Incumbent networks cannot identify the applications and provide the expected SLAs between IT and users, legacy routers and switches just forward packets. Another challenge, networks are very rigid and lack programmability. Last but not least, the deployments of applications in the data center require manual device-by-device provisioning (i.e. – lots of scripting, hundreds of thousands of CLI commands) and this impedes the rollout to a snail’s pace. Not to mention – anything manual is error prone.
The end of CLI
Let’s talk about the complexity around CLI commands for a bit. This is the same interface technology that has been used for the last 40 years, but it really hasn’t progressed beyond script automation. Provisioning network connectivity for an average data center with 500 servers, 20 Virtual Machines (VM) per server, or 10,000 VMs across the data center, requires over quarter-million CLI commands. With the demand for apps only increasing, those who continue to use this model for provisioning network connectivity will be left behind. It’s like being “Rip Van Winkle”, years later you wake up and life has passed you by. There has got to be a better way…
A new era and a new beginning:
Virtual Application Networks
Virtualize by Extending a Control Plane Across the Entire Network
Today, HP announced Virtual Application Networks – new cloud functionality, which delivers several benefits, a few of which I would like to mention, speed up application deployment, network management simplification and best users experience.
Virtual Application Networks provides end-to-end virtualization of the network and is based on a simple principle of separating the control plane from the data plane of the network. You can liken this to what was seen with the advent of hypervisors in server virtualization. With this, I think networks will no longer be rigid.
The introduction of Virtual Application Networks modernizes the provisioning of networks so applications can be delivered fast, meeting the demands of users, like you and me. Virtual Application Networks leverages HP’s single pane-of-glass management platform, Intelligent Management Center and IMC VAN Manager Module, to simplify the process and automate network provisioning.
Delivering Virtual Application Networks today
“There is a template for that”
The capability offered by VAN Manager eliminates the need for manual configuration and leverages a template-based approach for applications and VM connectivity. Server and network administrators can collaborate and characterize the application, for security, performance and quality assurance. These characteristics are defined in a template within IMC. Once the templates are built for applications or class of applications, next time the server admin ask for deployment of a new application, network admin can look at the templates library and say “there’s a template for that” app.
Rapid application deployment with Virtual Application Networks
Magic happens without CLI when the server administrator is ready to power on the application on a VM. Network resources which connect this VM to the rest of the network are orchestrated based on the application characteristics defined in IMC. This whole process now takes minutes instead of weeks.
Virtual Application Networks
From weeks to minutes
With IMC’s VAN Manager, we can envision a world without CLI. Through IMC’s ability to orchestrate and automate networks, the scale by which we measure the deployment of applications will change. Instead of using weeks, now minutes can be used. Is this the beginning of the end for CLI? I think so.
Don’t be left behind like Rip van Winkle with CLI, check out the IMC Virtual Applications Networks Manager so you can keep pace with the speed of apps rollout needed for cloud computing.
Availability – IMC v 5.1SP1 and the IMC VAN Manager Module will be available June 2012.
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