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September 2009, Vol. 14

Deep dive into virtual networking technologies

In the early days of x86 virtualization, IT shops were so thrilled with the technology’s consolidation and mobility benefits that advanced network management wasn’t much of a concern. Today, previously acceptable virtual network architectures are now under a high degree of scrutiny. The reason for the increased expectations is that a growing number of organizations are running production workloads on x86 virtualization platforms. The performance, availability and security of production applications often have an impact on an organization’s bottom line. That has made maintaining appropriate service levels for production applications a top priority for the IT staff. Maintaining the virtual network infrastructure status quo is no longer acceptable in many cases. For some organizations, the status quo meant interconnecting virtual machines (VMs) using unmanaged virtual network switches. That’s the equivalent of interconnecting servers using off-the-shelf D-Link switches purchased at the local Wal-Mart. To be fair, many organizations...

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