Network Diagramming Channel Feature
OPNET Embraces Virtualization in Network Diagramming
October 31, 2012
These days, virtualization is an industry buzz word that has introduced a great deal of advantages into information technology. OPNET, a provider of solutions for application and network performance management, has been seeing a lot of customers investing heavily in virtualized infrastructures. Since the company has seen virtualization grow to become so popular in the industry, it has decided to provide customers with a closer look into how virtualization works for their networks.
Now, with OPNET’s NetMapper diagramming solution, users can visualize the topology of a network. Recently, according to Vinod Jeyachandran, vice president of Engineering and product manager at OPNET, the company has added intelligence to NetMapper so that its users can get a deeper look into network virtualization.
“Our customers have said ‘We see the physical server, and that’s great, but there is stuff going on inside the server because there are three virtual servers running inside of it,’” Ankit Agarwal, associate vice president of Engineering at OPNET, told TMCnet in an exclusive interview.
With NetMapper, users can see the actual physical connectivity of the server, which tells them exactly where the server enters the network. This is where they should start investigating and following the trail of where the network problem might be.
With NetMapper diagrams, they see which switch the server is connected to right away. “They can easily double click on the server to see what the virtual servers are inside of that particular physical server. They see both the virtual and the physical connectivity in a very intuitive way in the same diagram,” explained Agarwal.
Virtualization has been part of the network longer than it became an industry buzz word as it is part of the network in different ways including:
Hardware Virtualization: A box for a multilayer switch actually has many different hardware modules inside of it such as a firewall module, a load balancer module, a routing module, a switching module, and more.
“Physically, all of the parts are in one box, but virtually these are actually four devices collocated on the same box,” said Agarwal. “NetMapper enables you to see that hardware virtualization and you can see the individual components and their logical connectivity.”
Software Virtualization: On the networking side, software virtualization is more complicated that hardware virtualization because multiple routing processes can run on the same router. So, there is hardware virtualization and on each hardware component, there is software virtualization going on too.
“NetMapper makes it very easy to see the physical and the virtual inside that, which covers the entire gamut of servers and networking devices,” he said.
NetMapper is able to tease apart all of the entities and switches that are housed in the same box.
“Ultimately, virtualization ties into the cloud,” he concluded. “When the data center is taken out of the environment and ‘rented from elsewhere,’it becomes the cloud, but essentially the constructs of virtualization and the cloud are the same. And, OPNET can provide you with that clear visibility.”
Edited by Jamie Epstein