What is network fencing?
Network fencing/IP Zoning is a functionality offered in all leading virtual lab automation solutions. By enabling this in a virtual machine configuration, users can deploy a configuration many times in parallel (i.e., simultaneously) without any IP/MAC or Windows SID conflicts (i.e., you don’t need to make any manual changes on the configs either – things just work!).
How does network fencing work in Virtual Lab Automation solutions?
It is incredibly easy to enable IP zones/network fencing in virtual lab automation products, like VMLogix LabManager. All it takes is a single click on a checkbox! Here are a couple of screenshots.
Why is network fencing important?
- Your developers, testers and operations teams can run the same configuration many times simultaneously without needing any manual intervention to get the config working (imagine trying to achieve this with a hypervisor only). So a tester can continue to look for bugs while a developer makes progress fixing them
- Capture a running configuration from production – import into virtual lab automation – and then IP Zone the configuration prior to test deployment. Now, without any manual edits to the captured configuration – you can run many instances of the configuration used in production — to debug/analyze/etc. in a test lab environment (and not worrying that the running test configuration may accidentally start ‘talking’ to the production deployment)
- In VMLogix LabManager, you can network zone an entire configuration or individual switches within the configuration. The latter throws up an additional benefit — a company admin can assign out individual pieces of the large configuration to be built by different engineers – each of the individual pieces can be IP zoned – so tests can be run within each individual section of a configuration.
Want to try this out for yourself?
Login to our VMLogix Virtual Portal and request for a free 30 day trial. You can try this feature and many other benefits that virtual lab automation solutions have to offer.
– Srihari Palangala