Posted by: Greg Ness | April 14, 2010

Network Infrastructure Automation Increasingly Critical

As I mentioned before, Cisco’s CTO predicted 1 trillion net connected devices by 2013 and I don’t think Padma was counting virtual machines.  With the rise of the three horsemen (netbooks, virtualization and cloud computing) it seems obvious that today’s enterprise networks are in need of a fundamental overhaul, starting with the automation of the tired, manually managed IPAM, DNS and DHCP infrastructure.

Note the following from a March 2010 article from TechTarget (Cloud Computing Network Primer):

Network automation necessary for cloud computing networks

Very little is static in a cloud environment. Instances of servers and networks are provisioned at the drop of a dime. Automated network processes are essential to provisioning these virtual resources. This means that the network architect must seek out automation tools that handle IP address management, configuration management and resource allocation. While these tools exist, they are constantly evolving, and networking teams may find themselves assembling a patchwork of solutions in addition to the offerings of their networking or data center portfolio vendors.

I think one of the biggest challenges to virtualization security, for example, is the collision between pockets of automated systems (VLANs) and static, manually managed networks.  At some point these pockets become less flexible (as they are populated with increasing numbers of VMs) and more granular network connectivity is required.  That connectivity (the essence of the DNS, DHCP and IPAM infrastructure) will have to be automated.

Coming Events

Interop- Why Networking Must Fundamentally Change

April 27 – 2:45PM pacific

Interop- IF-MAP and IT Orchestration

April 28 – 1:15PM pacific

Future in Review- Is the Network Ready for Cloud Computing?

May 12 – 8:45AM pacific

Virtual Interop- Infrastructure 2.0- Optimizing Your Infrastructure for the New Era of Cloud Computing and Virtualization

May 20 -10AM eastern

Some of my favorite posts about infrastructure 2.0:

Understanding Infrastructure 2.0 by CNET blogger James Urquhart

Server Den Asks Infoblox: What’s Infrastructure 2.0? by InformationWeek’s Alex Wolfe

Recommended Infrastructure 2.0 Blogs from December 2008 from Archimedius

Virtual Machine Density as the New Measure of IT Efficiency by Lori MacVittie at

Incomplete Thought: The Other Side Of Cloud – Where The (Wild) Infrastructure Things Are… by Chris Hoff at Rational Survivability

Lew’s Law and Network Automation from the infrastructure 2.0 blog

You can follow my (Twitter) rants in real-time at Archimedius.  I am a vice president at Infoblox.  If you are attending any of the events I mentioned feel free to stop by and say “hello”.


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