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Next Gen Infrastructure Virtualization v. Infrastructure Management

Lori MacVittie has a great post this morning which draws our attention to the distinction between virtualizing infrastructure and management of a unified (physical + virtual) infrastructure using a (dare I say it?) layer of abstraction.

Virtualization Gone Wild: Infrastructure as virtual appliances

What part of the reliability, performance, and security offered by hardware implementations of core network and application network functionality are we willing to give up?

But we need the automation, the collaboration, the integration.

Agreed. We need those capabilities. But that capability can be provided without moving stable, high performance, secure network and network application functionality to virtual environments deployed on less secure, lower performance, less reliable general purpose hardware servers. We can achieve those capabilities through abstraction that decouples the implementation from the control planes required to collaborate, integrate, and automate the network and application network infrastructure.
Just because it is virtually possible to shove any kind of functionality into a virtual environment does not mean it should
be done. The advantages gained by doing so in the application layers of
the infrastructure are likely to be offset by the disadvantages if done
so in the network and application network layers of the infrastructure.
Reliability, security, performance.
These requirements for cloud computing could easily be wiped out by
moving what is stable network and application network functionality
into virtualized images.

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