Infoblox, known for its IP Address Management (IPAM) appliances, is extending its reach into virtualization by integrating with a virtual appliance of their IPAM appliance called vNios that will run in VMware Server and ESXi v4. Infoblox has integrated with vCenter Server to pull virtual host information into Infoblox. Finally, Infoblox is launching Orchestration Server, which is an IF-MAP server that can be the central integration point for containing network device information. The three announcements combined put Infoblox's stake in the ground as the company tries to get in on the groundswell of the virtual data center movement.
vNios is simply a virtual machine of their hardware appliance that runs on Cisco Application Extension Platform (AXP), Riverbed's RiOS Services Platform (RSP), and not VMware's Server and ESXi4 platforms. vNios includes all the services in the hardware platform, but is targeted at remote office deployments where IT doesn't want to add another hardware appliance. vNios comes in two sizes. The VM-5 is equivaelent to the Infoblox 250-A appliance and supports 2000 Winconnect IP's, 3000 queries per second, and 25 DHCP leases per second. The VM-25 is equivalent to the Infoblox 1050-A supports 30,000 Winconnect IP's, 24,000 queries per second and 150 DHCP leases per second. The VM-25 also supports Vital QIP support. Pricing starts at $4,545 list.
vNios is a good fit for existing Infoblox customers or those that are considering a purchase; however, you will need a hardware Infoblox appliance to act as a grid master. By themselves, the vNios virtual appliances can't stand on their own. An Infoblox 250 can run as low as $2,400. Representatives said that they could offer the vNios as a standalone appliance, but the presumption is that it will fit into an existing Infoblox deployment. The company didn't rule out the possibility of an individual license in the future.
Infoblox's integration efforts with VMware Server, IPAM for virtualization, pulls virtual machine container information, such as host, cluster, data center, from vCenter server, and it also pulls virtual machine-specific information like operating system and VM name. Infoblox makes the argument that virtualized data centers are dynamic while IPAM data tends to remain static. For example, a server retains its IP address and DNS host name throughout its lifetime, while its location within the VMware environment can change based on VMotion's or disaster recovery events. Keeping tabs of where machines are located is critical for troubleshooting and reporting. By integrating with Infoblox, IPAM administrators can see where a machine is located at any point. It's a useful feature for existing Infoblox customers running VMware, but if you are running Microsoft's Hyper-V or Citrix's Xen, you're out of luck. Representatives said they are not seeing demand for the other hypervisors, although we think Infoblox should build in support for other hypervisors before customer demand hits so that customers can make full use of their IT investments.
Finally, Infoblox is announcing their Orchestration Server which is an IF-MAP server,(we describe in this Tech Roadmap), that can collect and disseminate device status using the Trusted Computing Groups protocol IF-MAP 1.1. Infoblox is one of a few companies--Juniper, Lumeta, Great Bay Software, and Insightix are others--who have support for IF-MAP can publish or pull data stored via IF-MAP.