I recently spent four days on the show floor at VMworld in San Francisco, and there was a common theme that recurred over and over (and over and over again).
Some of the world’s leading enterprises and government agencies kept touting the speed and agility of VMware’s virtualization and cloud deployments. Early on day one, I asked a few booth visitors, “So when you destroy a VM, what’s your process for cleaning up network attributes such as DNS records, or reclaiming IP addresses?”
The responses ranged from outright laughter to excuses about being too busy now, but intending to go back and do it later. (Sort of like saying, “Should I go out for a jog tonight? I’m too busy playing with the kids. I’ll do it later.”)
Everyone seemed to agree they should do better, but real life is different. A typical response was, “Yeah, our best practices tell us to follow a policy when we destroy an instance, but I don’t have time. I know I should do better, but I’ll get to it later.” (Like when the gym membership comes up for renewal and you think, “Well, I haven’t been good at it this past year, but next year will be different. The $150 a month will make me be better.”)
But, as with exercise, clean-up best practices are serious business. When you talk about the dangers out-of-date and incorrect data can have on a virtualized deployment, it gets scary.
In your environment, have stale, duplicate, and contradicting DNS records ever caused a problem? And how much more likely are duplicate IP addresses when you have a dynamic, virtualized environment? How much harder is it to troubleshoot or audit virtual- and cloud-based resources when you’re trying to track them manually?
In an ideal world, we would have plenty of time, expertise and patience to handle repetitive tasks like this (as well as eating healthier, exercising more and visiting the doctor regularly). We tend to ignore repetitive, unglamorous tasks and hope they won’t cause a problem later.
Infoblox can’t help you get more exercise, but we can help with automation in virtualized and cloud environments to handle common tasks such as provisioning DNS records, assigning IP addresses during spin up and cleaning up both DNS and IP addresses when virtual instances are destroyed. We can do the manual, repetitive and tedious processes to help ensure your network is clean and consistent. You can learn more at www.infoblox.com/cloud.