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June 2016 Vol 7 / No. 5

In virtualized environments, importance of hardware remains

In the rush to virtualize everything, some IT pros have come to believe that traditional networking equipment will eventually become obsolete. But not so fast -- even IT and network managers who have already deployed virtual switches say that the importance of hardware won't disappear. Many networking pros and industry analysts theorize that most companies, in virtualizing their networks, will ultimately choose one of two main options -- neither of which totally eliminates the role of network hardware. Some will use a VMware NSX overlay on top of existing physical networking gear, while others will deploy Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). ACI lets users run applications over a single network fabric that integrates physical and virtual switches. "There's really no reason to expect that all physical networking infrastructure will disappear," says Chuck Huetter, second vice president of information technology at Ameritas, a large insurance and financial services firm based in Lincoln, Neb. Huetter explains that a ...

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