Physical environments are pretty easy to understand. They are hardware based and tangible – you can see and touch all the devices involved.
Devices are generally fixed in function – a server, a switch, a router or a firewall say. You know what they do and it doesn’t change (much).
Applications normally run on a dedicated server (or mainframe) often managed by a specialist individual or team.
Whilst physical environments are generally static where devices and applications are concerned, network level moves and changes require very careful planning to be successful first time. Similarly, updates and re-configurations are labour-intensive and prone to human error.READ MORE
Virtual environments are based on software running on a physical underlay. If we consider servers, for example, the software allows multiple applications or workloads to run on a single physical server simultaneously. Within networks, virtualization can range from simple Virtual LAN (VLAN) deployments to full-blown Software Defined Networks (SDNs) including Containers.
Virtual environments are, by definition, flexible but this very point can make it challenging to deliver consistent performance or policy enforcement. With lots of dependencies and moving parts automation becomes a key consideration in virtual environments.
For many businesses, the idea of utilizing Cloud environments was the answer to pretty much everything. Whilst Cloud environments offer tremendous benefit for the right use case, history has taught us that “Cloud” is not a panacea.
Cloud environments come in several flavours – Infrastructure, Platform or Software as a service. Although all options can be agile, elastic and versatile, each has its own considerations and limitations based upon the use case.
By definition, a Hybrid environment is a combination of physical, virtual and Cloud environments. It is, by far, the most common state businesses find themselves in.
However, each sub-environment will have different tool sets to provide Visibility, Control and Management. Bringing these together is a challenge.
Since Hybrid environments rely on multiple Vendors – with little standardization – managing multiple schemas for configuration, moves and changes requires careful planning and even more careful execution.
In order to achieve consistency of performance and policy enforcement, automation or orchestration is an essential ingredient.READ MORE