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Network diagnostics that see through virtualization
This article is part of the Network Evolution issue of June 2011 Vol. 2, No. 3
Troubleshooting slow network performance is difficult enough in a physical environment, but virtualization requires engineers to run even more complex network diagnostics. After all, in a bare metal data center, network administrators have lots of tools at their disposal to follow packets from end to end, but in a virtualized data center, east-west network traffic between virtual machines on the same physical server is invisible to physical network infrastructure. Fortunately, there are ways for the network team to peer into the black box of the virtualized environment using a patchwork of tools and strategies. Using virtual switches to manage virtualization traffic Hypervisors on virtualized servers use built-in virtual switches (vSwitches) to manage traffic among virtual machines. These software vSwitches are designed to replicate the functions of a physical network switch, including support for port monitoring. However, they typically lack the deep functionality of a traditional hardware-based network switch. Cisco Systems' ...
Features in this issue
Virtual desktop infrastructure is seeing speedy uptake, but desktop virtualization network challenges mean investing in load balancing, traffic prioritization and even more bandwidth to support real-time applications to the desktop.
vSphere VLANs have requirements different from those of VLANs in physical environments because VMs are fluid and can't be assigned to one physical NIC. So 802.1Q VLAN tagging offers a new approach to configuring and managing VLANs in vSphere.
Running network diagnostics for virtualization requires a new set of strategies that involve virtual switches, virtual network probes and rerouting traffic for analysis.
News in this issue
In order to implement virtualization, enterprises must go beyond old-school network documentation for a full IT infrastructure audit that shows resources across silos.
One virtualization architect explains the miscommunications between systems and network engineers and how his teams worked together toward managing virtualization more effectively.