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Categories: NSX VMware

@VMware’s #NSX technology promises a data center revolution, but #virtualization administrators must learn how to keep up with the changes, lead #collaboration and take advantage of specialized knowledge.

Much of the discussion about VMware NSX and other network virtualization technologies focuses on consequences to the virtualized data center, including distributed firewalls, micro-segmentation and VM portability. Fewer discussions have included the ability of NSX technology to reorganize the data center’s staff.

Admins are trying to keep up with NSX technology and its evolving management responsibilities. The virtual admin role originated from the need to manage new virtual environments, but network virtualization’s reach is less clear.

NSX technology, and network virtualization broadly, lives at the kernel on each of the hosts. It has to exist at this level to have access to the traffic it needs without affecting the performance of the VMs. This means it’s a host extension, and it falls on the virtual admin to ensure installation and functionality. After that’s complete, however, the responsibilities can shift to different people.

The functions of firewall and router rules haven’t changed just because the environment has moved from physical to virtual, which implies these functions remain the network engineers’ responsibilities. The network engineers still have relevant, specialized knowledge, but these rules are often generated automatically based on the VM deployment. Network mapping software, such as vRealize Network Insight, can offer additional complexity. Network engineers and virtual admins can both use these tools to examine the virtual network, ensure functionality and minimize risk before establishing a software-defined network.

Collaboration is the ideal answer, but it can be difficult for two different groups to agree and share workloads.
Though many of these tasks are considered to be part of virtual networking, deployment and automation steps tend to fall to the virtual admin. But passing virtual networking onto the virtual admin wholesale could be disastrous. The skill sets for the two roles are different, and mistakes made with virtual networking can be devastating to an organization.

Collaboration is the ideal answer, but it can be difficult for two different groups to agree and share workloads.