Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Java Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Navrup Johal

Related Topics: Virtualization, Java

Virtualization: Article

Butterfly Effect in Virtualized Environments

How small inconsequential events can have radical consequences down the line

In 1969 Edward Lorenz, the famed meteorologist and Chaos Theory proponent, introduced the concept now known as the "Butterfly Effect" when he posed the famous question: "Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?" The Butterfly Effect theory describes the phenomenon of how small variations in a dynamic system can subsequently cause larger and more complex variations over the long term.

Today's modern virtualized data center represents a new kind of dynamic system. Just as the Brazilian butterfly may set off a tornado a world away, any change to the virtualized objects that are the components of the virtual infrastructure can have severe and unintended consequences to virtualized systems, networks, and data centers. As virtualization technologies are deployed in live production environments, the potential for small changes at the virtual layer disrupting the virtual and physical network resources are becoming a real concern.

Seeing Through the Fog of Virtualization
The evolution of IT has been marked by several distinct cycles. The adoption of virtualization in the data center is proving to be the next major paradigm shift as was the change from mainframe to client/server computing in years past. The next advance in the corporate infrastructure is now underway with the broad embrace of cloud computing, marked by the use of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Cloud computing will become increasingly more prevalent once more servers and desktops are virtualized and migrating servers in the cloud is as easy as dragging and dropping an icon onto a remote server.

Clearly, the virtual data center is quickly becoming a reality and organizations that deploy virtualization are now coming to grips with a new set of management challenges. Jim Frey, a senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associates, coined the phrase "Fog of Virtualization" to describe this new challenge. Since one cannot manage or control what they can't see, virtual data center administrators are experiencing management and policy enforcement limitations.

Visibility into both the virtual and physical infrastructure is becoming a crucial operating requirement. Administrators need a visual representation of their virtual environment to understand the entire virtual network, track changes, and manage both their physical and virtual infrastructure. Virtualization creates an invisible line where servers and applications are easily moved and managed by multiple cross-functional organizational departments. Not only can servers, storage, and networks can be dynamically managed as a single pool of resources but servers, switches, and networks can be created at the click of a mouse with applications moving seamlessly from one physical server to another.

Consequently such a dynamic environment can create issues uncommon in traditional physical environments. Policies can be defined to dynamically move virtual machines based on resource utilization or for disaster recovery and business continuity. This automated mobility means that administrators only know the current location of a virtual machine. Of course, with virtualization it's fast and easy to deploy new servers. Perhaps a little too easy, as administrators struggle to control this new breed of virtual server sprawl which adds another layer of complexity and decreases the cost savings to the organization. Virtual environments are subject to an extreme number of infrastructure configuration changes that tend to obfuscate the data center as a whole - understanding how components are connected, and the consequences of changes, can mean the difference between success and failure.

To maintain proper and secure configuration in a virtual environment, organizations must be able to track all infrastructure changes in real-time to maintain an accurate model of the virtual environment. If Murphy were a data center administrator, his law might read: "A misconfigured device possesses a risk equal to one that's unpatched for known vulnerabilities." Virtualization makes configuration of virtual infrastructure a point-and-click operation, opening the doors for simple human error.

The Unintended Consequences of Interdependent Systems
Large virtual infrastructures have grown so complex and interdependent that the Butterfly Effect is emerging as a real threat. There are a number of dynamic forces at work in virtual systems, and changes to one part of the infrastructure can have far-reaching consequences. The downside of these complex interdependencies is that human mistakes, even small errors in configuration, can manifest themselves as major problems down the road. These forces conspire to put pressure on both the system and administrators, increasing the probability of mistakes and making their impact more far-reaching and costly. IT specialists attempting to configure, change, release, and support critical applications can find themselves facing a daunting reality.

The Butterfly Effect in the virtual data center is exacerbated by a complex infrastructure designed to support multi-tiered networks, interdependencies between different layers of infrastructure, fewer IT resources, and more applications that require changes and demands to support new initiatives like service-oriented IT and distributed architectures. Administrators are struggling to manage the Butterfly Effect while trying to meet the conflicting challenges of providing the continuous availability of critical applications. But achieving continuous availability in complex virtual environments is no small task.

More Stories By Hezi Moore

Hezi Moore is founder and Chief Technology Officer of Reflex Systems. He brings more than 15 years experience in security, networking and entrepreneurial expertise to Reflex Systems. In his role of CTO, he is responsible for shaping the company's technology strategy and defining the roadmap for future design and development of innovative, integrated network security solutions and delivering them to market. Moore led the effort to develop the industry's first Virtual Security Appliance (VSA) that provides visibility and security for virtual network infrastructure. Prior to founding Reflex Systems, Moore was president and co-founder of MicroTech Systems - a firm specializing in network design and configuration of point-of-sale systems - which was subsequently acquired by Retail Technologies International of Sacramento, California. He has also held such diverse occupations as a technical support and research analyst for GE Technology. Moore was a pioneer of the automated network intrusion response system, the concept out of which Reflex Systems grew.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
WebRTC is an up-and-coming standard that enables real-time voice and video to be directly embedded into browsers making the browser a primary user interface for communications and collaboration. WebRTC runs in a number of browsers today and is currently supported in over a billion installed browsers globally, across a range of platform OS and devices. Today, organizations that choose to deploy WebRTC applications and use a host machine that supports audio through USB or Bluetooth can use Plantronics products to connect and transit or receive the audio associated with the WebRTC session.
The best mobile applications are augmented by dedicated servers, the Internet and Cloud services. Mobile developers should focus on one thing: writing the next socially disruptive viral app. Thanks to the cloud, they can focus on the overall solution, not the underlying plumbing. From iOS to Android and Windows, developers can leverage cloud services to create a common cross-platform backend to persist user settings, app data, broadcast notifications, run jobs, etc. This session provides a high level technical overview of many cloud services available to mobile app developers, includi...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
There are lots of challenges in IoT around secure, scalable and business friendly infrastructure for enterprises. For large corporations, IoT implementations are one of the top priorities of the decade. All industries are seeing a competitive need to sustain by investing in IoT initiatives. The value addition comes from improved customer service, innovative product and additional revenue streams. The data from these IP-connected devices can be leveraged for a variety of business applications as well as responsive action controls. The various architectural building blocks of an IoT ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will meet your customers' needs of tomorrow - today! Ciqada. Let your products take flight. For more inform...
Health care systems across the globe are under enormous strain, as facilities reach capacity and costs continue to rise. M2M and the Internet of Things have the potential to transform the industry through connected health solutions that can make care more efficient while reducing costs. In fact, Vodafone's annual M2M Barometer Report forecasts M2M applications rising to 57 percent in health care and life sciences by 2016. Lively is one of Vodafone's health care partners, whose solutions enable older adults to live independent lives while staying connected to loved ones. M2M will continue to gr...
Chuck Piluso will present a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Speaker Bio: Prior to Data Storage Corporation (DSC), Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Telecommunications Corporation, a facilities-based international carrier licensed by t...
Dave will share his insights on how Internet of Things for Enterprises are transforming and making more productive and efficient operations and maintenance (O&M) procedures in the cleantech industry and beyond. Speaker Bio: Dave Landa is chief operating officer of Cybozu Corp (kintone US). Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, Dave has been on the forefront of the Cloud revolution driving strategic business development on the executive teams of multiple leading Software as a Services (SaaS) application providers dating back to 2004. Cybozu's kintone.com is a leading global BYOA (Build Your O...
As enterprises move to all-IP networks and cloud-based applications, communications service providers (CSPs) – facing increased competition from over-the-top providers delivering content via the Internet and independently of CSPs – must be able to offer seamless cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions that can scale for small, midsize, and large enterprises, as well as public sector organizations, in order to keep and grow market share. The latest version of Oracle Communications Unified Communications Suite gives CSPs the capability to do just that. In addition, its integration ...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal today!
While not quite mainstream yet, WebRTC is starting to gain ground with Carriers, Enterprises and Independent Software Vendors (ISV’s) alike. WebRTC makes it easy for developers to add audio and video communications into their applications by using Web browsers as their platform. But like any market, every customer engagement has unique requirements, as well as constraints. And of course, one size does not fit all. In her session at WebRTC Summit, Dr. Natasha Tamaskar, Vice President, Head of Cloud and Mobile Strategy at GENBAND, will explore what is needed to take a real time communications ...
The IoT Bootcamp is coming to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo on June 9-10 at the Javits Center in New York. Instructor. Registration is now available at http://iotbootcamp.sys-con.com/ Instructor Janakiram MSV previously taught the famously successful Multi-Cloud Bootcamp at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in November in Santa Clara. Now he is expanding the focus to Janakiram is the founder and CTO of Get Cloud Ready Consulting, a niche Cloud Migration and Cloud Operations firm that recently got acquired by Aditi Technologies. He is a Microsoft Regional Director for Hyderabad, India, and one of the f...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Litmus Automation will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Litmus Automation’s vision is to provide a solution for companies that are in a rush to embrace the disruptive Internet of Things technology and leverage it for real business challenges. Litmus Automation simplifies the complexity of connected devices applications with Loop, a secure and scalable cloud platform.
In 2015, 4.9 billion connected "things" will be in use. By 2020, Gartner forecasts this amount to be 25 billion, a 410 percent increase in just five years. How will businesses handle this rapid growth of data? Hadoop will continue to improve its technology to meet business demands, by enabling businesses to access/analyze data in real time, when and where they need it. Cloudera's Chief Technologist, Eli Collins, will discuss how Big Data is keeping up with today's data demands and how in the future, data and analytics will be pervasive, embedded into every workflow, application and infra...
From telemedicine to smart cars, digital homes and industrial monitoring, the explosive growth of IoT has created exciting new business opportunities for real time calls and messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ivelin Ivanov, CEO and Co-Founder of Telestax, shared some of the new revenue sources that IoT created for Restcomm – the open source telephony platform from Telestax. Ivelin Ivanov is a technology entrepreneur who founded Mobicents, an Open Source VoIP Platform, to help create, deploy, and manage applications integrating voice, video and data. He is the co-founder of TeleStax, a...
As Marc Andreessen says software is eating the world. Everything is rapidly moving toward being software-defined – from our phones and cars through our washing machines to the datacenter. However, there are larger challenges when implementing software defined on a larger scale - when building software defined infrastructure. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Boyan Ivanov, CEO of StorPool, will provide some practical insights on what, how and why when implementing "software-defined" in the datacenter.
How is unified communications transforming the way businesses operate? In his session at WebRTC Summit, Arvind Rangarajan, Director of Product Marketing at BroadSoft, will discuss how to extend unified communications experience outside the enterprise through WebRTC. He will also review use cases across different industry verticals. Arvind Rangarajan is Director, Product Marketing at BroadSoft. He has over 19 years of experience in the telecommunications industry in various roles such as Software Development, Product Management and Product Marketing, applied across Wireless, Unified Communic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and easy to use. MangoApps has been named a "Market Leader" by Ovum Research and a "Cool Vendor" by Gartner...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @ThingsExpo Blog launched with 7,788 original stories. @ThingsExpo Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @ThingsExpo Blog can be bookmarked. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on Twitter at @MicroservicesE