I hear a lot about virtualization in the data center. Rightfully so—as the biggest impact and well understood impact of virtualization technology is in the data center. With bulk of the traffic pattern changing from north-south (client-to-server) to east-west (machine-to-machine), virtualization played a significant role in this new computing paradigm.
Virtualization makes delivery models like “moving to the cloud” and everything as a service (XaaS) possible. In a recent survey of 1650 IT and business executives shows that over a third of the budget is allocated for cloud computing. (Read Joe McKendrick’s article on Forbes).
Why not consider the benefits of virtualization beyond the walls of data center for the same reason—optimize infrastructure, maximize investment and simplify IT operations to enhance business value of IT services?
More and more employees are working away from headquarters. Branch offices are the face of the organization where customer interactions happen every day. I have read articles by analyst that discuss three different approaches to virtualization in the branch: network centric, appliance centric and server centric. Each approach has its own place depending on the customer need. HP FlexBranch solution embraces a network-centric approach to virtualization in the branch that converges services and network connectivity to enable superior user experience.
Benefits of HP FlexBranch approach
- Ease of application delivery: Full virtualization environment based on VMware vSphere 5 or Citrix XenServer
- Reduced IT footprint: Integration of virtualization module within open network platform
- Faster time to application deployment: Standard hypervisor environment requires no API or customization enabling faster deployment of certified applications.
- Remote manageability: Integrated VMware vCenter and Intelligent Management Center (IMC)
HP network virtualization solution diagram
You can create multiple virtual machines on a single VMware or Citrix module that plugs into the network switch and run different applications. Here in this diagram I am showing three virtual machines one running Microsoft Windows machine and two others running Linux. You can run in any combination you want or create additional VMs. More and more network application providers are moving from dedicated appliance to virtual solutions. For example, Virtual Riverbed Steelhead WAN acceleration can be run on a VM as an application. Firewall application can be another example. You can also run core services like DNS, DHCP, print service or local web service without needing to install additional hardware in the branch—all integrated on a single virtualization module within the network platform.
I encourage you to read IDC’s view on the network-centric approach to branch office virtualization in this IDC tech spotlight (sponsored by HP). The IDC team discusses how network virtualization can optimize remote branch performance.
Do you see virtualization as a viable technology for your branch environment? Please share your views here.
See us at Interop Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay // May 6-10, 2012 // Expo: May 8-10, 2012. And be sure to visit the HP booth and see the HP FlexBranch virtualization demo.
>> Learn more about HP FlexBranch solution.