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Infoblox Automates Network Virtualization Changes

Infoblox has introduced a new platform to automate the previously manual process of making network changes associated with virtualization deployments. The launch of its automation offering is accompanied by the release of an Infoblox-backed industry survey that shows communication and collaboration across various IT silos, including servers, storage, networking and software, is sorely lacking.

The survey by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) shows that 54% of 200 respondents said their organizations are too siloed but that they lack the tools to do cross-silo collaboration, 57% said they didn’t have the time or staff to do it and 70% failed to complete collaboration training even though they recognized the value in it.

Provisioning a new virtual server can take days or weeks using a manual and time-consuming process. The survey also revealed that 56% of survey respondents said their organization was deploying between 500 and 1,000 virtual machines (VMs) per month, but Infoblox argues that as demand for more VMs grows, that manual process can’t scale.

There are multiple tasks on the network side that must be undertaken for a successful VM deployment, says Tracy Corbo, principal research analyst at EMA, including virtual local area network (VLAN) management, Internet Protocol (IP) address management, domain name server (DNS) updates, and access control list (ACL) updates.

“Infoblox is certainly not the only vendor to recognize this challenge, nor are they the only one to offer a solution in the space. But they do have a unique approach that spans the whole range of network-related tasks,” states Corbo.

The centerpiece of the Infoblox offering is the Automation Task Board from which an operator can perform several tasks without the need to write scripts or do time-consuming command-line interface programming. The platform can do provisioning for IPv4 or Ipv6 networks, VLAN reassignment, port activation, bare metal provisioning of new network devices at branch offices and rogue dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) server remediation in the event an unauthorized server is discovered on the network.

Pricing for the new automation capabilities and the Automation Task Board starts at $15,735 in North America and $18,885 everywhere else in the world where Infoblox operates.

Infoblox competes in two areas, Corbo explains. In the IP address management (IPAM) space, its competitors include Bluecat Networks and BT Diamond IP. In the network change and configuration management (NCCM) space, it faces competition from IBM, HP, Solarwinds and BMC.

“Infoblox is unique in bringing automation to both of these areas,” she states. “Infoblox has recognized the fact that IPAM can benefit from the value of automation that is an integral part of NCCM solutions.”

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