How to deal with the challenges of data center management

For a user with a certain size of data center, management is always a big "problem". Especially with the rapid development of technology and the continuous emergence of application models, the challenges facing data center management are gradually changing. At this point, it is particularly important whether the management tools are handy. It is the consensus of all data center users to find a powerful management tool that keeps pace with the times, better responds to "new problems", and effectively and comprehensively manages the data center.

At present, with the climax of the construction of a new generation of data centers, virtualization has almost become an indispensable application for data centers, and more and more users are beginning to transfer data centers to virtualized environments. According to a recent study by authoritative institutions, 90% of enterprises have implemented virtualization technology to some extent. This also brings new propositions to data center management tools. How to maintain and improve the efficiency of data center management in the era of virtualization "popularity"?

The weakness of data center network management under the new trend

The benefits of virtualization technology for data centers are obvious. Faced with the continuous development of business applications and the rapid increase in the number of data center equipment, virtualization can reduce the number of physical devices, reduce energy consumption, and increase the flexibility of the data center, thereby reducing the total cost of ownership of the data center.

However, the ubiquitous virtualization technology has also brought many new management problems.

On the one hand, the integrated infrastructure created with the help of virtualization technology can deploy a variety of resources according to business needs, but for data center management software, how can it sense the changes in virtual resources and at the same time dynamically set the settings on the network equipment Adjustment? This is an urgent problem.

Traditional management software only considers the management of physical devices. Virtual resources such as virtual machines and virtual network devices cannot be identified, let alone configure these resources. For data centers in the era of virtualization, this simply cannot meet the requirements. Z3 Chuanpu, Chief Engineer of H3C Business Software, pointed out that in a true sense, the management of data center virtualization must not only ensure that the status of virtualized resources can be checked, but also realize the automatic management of various resources in the resource pool, and can manage physical resources and The resources are configured, and when the virtualization resources are increased, decreased, and migrated, the strategy deployment and other tasks can be completed automatically. This is also the request made by some large domestic IT companies when initially building a cloud data center.

On the other hand, virtualization technology improves the utilization rate of infrastructure, but makes the data center's traffic model more complicated. Compared with traditional data center applications, cloud-based applications have the scalability of infrastructure and the actual network traffic. Management requirements are higher. Therefore, how to better manage applications and traffic is another problem to be solved in data center management in the era of virtualization. Such as supporting a variety of monitoring types and monitoring indicators, reducing the impact on existing systems, etc., this is also the focus of many manufacturers currently providing data center management software are trying to break through.

In addition, an important trend in the development of the current data center is the rapid growth of scale. This trend is becoming more and more obvious from the previous "data concentration" to the current "cloud". This means that the data center area is getting larger and larger, the structure is more and more complicated, the management tasks are more and more heavy, the division of labor is more and more detailed, and the requirements for management efficiency are becoming higher and higher. For example, it is required to visually manage the computer room, rack, etc. where the data center is located, which cannot be displayed by traditional means.

From the above, it is not difficult to see that when faced with the development of new situations, traditional data center management tools inevitably have many inherent deficiencies, and replacement is imperative.

Turn virtual into reality, iMC v5

After continuous changes and evolution of data center management tools, the proprietary management system corresponds to a single device "chimney management" model, and gradually develops into a comprehensive management method that integrates and unifies as the development direction. Vendors will also respond to user needs. Changes are constantly being introduced in new versions. In March 2011, H3C released a new generation of intelligent management center iMC v5, which became the most powerful tool for data center management in the era of virtualization.

"According to the new trend of data center development, fully supporting virtualization at different levels is the most outstanding feature of H3C's new generation of iMC intelligent management center." Z3 Chuanpu, chief engineer of H3C business software, said that this is another four years since iMC was born "On demand", the goal directly refers to the challenges of data center management under the new trend.

Among the functions of iMC, first of all, it guarantees the resource visibility of the integration of physical and virtual networks, which is also a task that must be completed to achieve truly effective data center management in the virtualization mode. The new generation of iMC has achieved the same treatment of physical and virtual resources in terms of the visibility of virtual resources, and can provide the affiliation of various virtual resources, laying a foundation for further management.

On this basis, iMC fully displays the topology of the entire data center through a powerful topology function. The network topology function has always been iMC's strong point, and the new generation of iMC v5 has achieved flat computer room design and three-dimensional computer room monitoring, and supports 180-degree rotating computer room topology and simulated rack topology. In terms of virtual network topology, administrators can use iMC to manage physical resources and virtualized resources at the same time, view the panel of virtual network devices, and the CPU, memory, disk space and other information of virtual servers to understand the various virtual resources and physical resources. Network connection. For administrators, this means more comprehensive monitoring of data center resources, more effective analysis and positioning when faults occur, and higher management efficiency.

Figure 1 Data center computer room distribution

Figure 2 Computer room topology

After achieving full control over virtual resources, iMC further considered how to effectively manage virtual resources. Since the corresponding network configuration needs to be dynamically adjusted in real time when the virtual machine is migrated, iMC especially strengthens the functions of virtualization migration and automatic configuration, so that virtual devices can perform unified network configuration management like physical devices. , Regular automatic backup, and support the migration and deployment of virtual network environments (VLAN, ACL, QoS, etc.) to meet the needs of different scenarios such as rapid deployment, business migration, and new system testing.

Realizing only the management of virtual resources is not the whole of the new generation iMC for data center virtualization management. Zhai Chuanpu emphasized that what iMC hopes to do is also to effectively manage the business above the virtual resources. With the increasingly close connection between applications and infrastructure, the ability to effectively monitor and manage application systems has become a necessary part of data center management and even network business management. At present, iMC's business-oriented application management and traffic analysis functions have achieved virtual and physical "indiscriminate treatment."

"In data center management, making the management of virtualization resources as efficient as the traditional management of physical resources is the most obvious advantage of iMC over similar products." It is precisely because of its powerful functions in virtualization management, iMC is bound to have very good application prospects in application environments such as cloud computing and next-generation data centers.

Improve efficiency, whose site is in charge

The advancement of data center management tools not only needs to be functionally improved in response to the trend of management needs, but also can constantly change from itself with the help of new IT technologies. The technological development in the Web2.0 era also provides a new reference for the development of data center management tools. Zhai Chuanpu pointed out that Ajax technology is one of them.

Ajax is a collection of some client-side technologies that implement Web2.0, which is called "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML technology" (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML). Its biggest advantage is that it can achieve partial refresh of the page and can take the burden of some previous servers. Pass on to the client, reduce the burden on the server and bandwidth, and improve system performance.

The new generation of iMC intelligent management center widely adopts Ajax technology. Among them, the customized homepage function of the entire system is the most representative. With the help of AJAX technology to realize dynamic loading and display technology to achieve unified monitoring and management of the network, users can customize the personalized iMC system home page content according to management needs, and can determine the monitoring content according to different business / region or other management perspective Each monitoring content is dynamically loaded and displayed. In this way, different administrators can implement functions such as customizing the homepage display elements, customizing the homepage layout, and adjusting the homepage layout by "dragging and dropping" according to different tasks in charge, making the system more flexible and easy to use.

At present, the mainstream management tools have basically abandoned the C / S structure and adopted the B / S structure. The latter has many advantages, but there are also problems that the user experience is slightly inferior. By adopting Ajax, a core technology that implements Web 2.0 services, iMC has upgraded from static B / S to dynamic B / S, giving users a look and feel in the B / S structure that only C / S has in the past.

At the same time, Zhai Chuanpu clearly pointed out that this change brings not only the improvement of user experience, but more importantly, it can further improve the efficiency of data center management. As the size of the data center is getting larger and larger, and the management division is getting more and more detailed, different managers have their own concerns about the management of the data center. Administrators can define the information they care about, such as alarm information and traffic information, on the home page, so that the administrator can learn the most concerned content as soon as they log in. A custom management page similar to iGoogle not only avoids the cumbersome use of the functions of "one thousand people", but also allows administrators to obtain the most important information in the first place, thereby saving time and achieving a more efficient data center management.

H3C's attempts at data center management represent an important direction for the development of data center management tools in the future, which is to innovate in the means of implementation while improving various management functions, thereby further improving management capabilities and better " On demand ". Of course, this is only one part of the improvement of the technical means of the new generation of iMC. I believe that in the near future, iMC will take network management on the basis of the integration of users, services, and applications and bring more surprises to users.


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