Home > Current Affairs, De-Perimeterization, General Rants & Raves, Information Security, Security Innovation & Imagination, Virtualization > Uncle Mike says “Virtualization hasn’t changed the fundamental laws of network architecture.”

Uncle Mike says “Virtualization hasn’t changed the fundamental laws of network architecture.”

FlatDespite Mike completely missing the point of my last point regarding Alan Shimel’s rant on Tippingpoint (he defaults to "Hoff is defending Big Iron blurb,) Mike made a bold statement:

Virtualization hasn’t changed the fundamental laws of network architecture

I am astounded by this statement.  I violently disagree with this assertion.

Virtualization may have not changed the underlying mechanisms of CSMA/CD or provided the capability to exceed the speed of light, but virtualization has absolutely and fundamentally affected the manner in which networks are designed, deployed, managed and used.   You know, network architecture.

Whether we’re talking about VLAN’s, MPLS, SOA, Grid Computing or Storage, almost every example of data center operations and network design today are profoundly impacted by the V-word.

Furthermore, virtualization (of transport, storage, application, policy, data) has also fundamentally changed the manner in which computing is employed and resources consumed.  What you deploy, where, and how are really, really important.

More importantly (and relevant here) is that virtualization has caused architects to revisit the way in which these assets and the data that flow through them, is secured.

And to defray yet another "blah blah…big iron…large enterprise….blah blah" retort, I’m referring not just to the Crossbeam way (which is heavily virtualized,) but that of Cisco and Juniper also.  All Next Generation Network Services are in a low-earth orbit of the mass that is virtualization.

"Virtualization of the routed core. Virtualization of the data and control planes.  Virtualization of Transport.  Extending the virtualized enterprise over the WAN.  The virtualized access layer."  You know what those are?  Chapters out of a Cisco Press book on Network Virtualization which provides "…design guidance" for architects of virtualized Enterprises.

I suppose it’s only fair that I ask Mike to qualify his comment, because perhaps it’s another "out-of-context-ism" or I misunderstood (of course I did) but it made me itchy reading it.


  1. January 22nd, 2007 at 16:22 | #1

    Spot on dude. I missed that comment in Mike's incite.
    I say more at http://www.theconvergingnetwork.com/2007/01/virtu

  2. January 26th, 2007 at 11:16 | #2

    You hit the nail on the head Chris. When you consider the de-coupling of app and hardware; the ease of setting up VMs (sprawl); dynamic moves and changes; and the gridlock from complex stacks one can certainly see virtualization changing the network security game. IMHO it risks making much NIPS/HIPS functionality irrelevant.

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