2 things all network admins must consider before deploying VMware NSX

When the CIO of Mohave Community College deployed NSX, he realized that he needed to rethink his network strategy.

2 things all network admins must consider before deploying VMware NSX

TechRepublic's Conner Forrest interviewed Mark Van Pelt, the CIO of Mohave Community College, about what network administrators must consider before deploying VMware NSX. The following is an edited transcript of the interview.

Mark Van Pelt: Well, I think the two things that we learned as an organization is, you know, educational environments, like most IT departments are very fast paced. So, a lot of times getting it out there, and getting it done is the enemy of good for us, to an extent.

So, when we went to NSX what we found is that if you want NSX to work properly you need your network to perform properly. So we did a lot of kind-of looking at some of the things that we had duct taped together or done in a hurry over the years in the past, and we had to untangle some of those things so that the network, at least at a very basic sense, was prepared for NSX to come onboard.

SEE: Network security policy (Tech Pro Research)

Then the second thing that we learned was that we weren't as good with security as we thought, and it's nice to have an opportunity, again since this is a large project anyway, you're gonna need to take a look at your network. So for us, it was an opportunity to step back and say, all right, what are we doing?

We found that our core data was very good in terms of security, but at some of our remote sites some of the places where we don't control traffic as well because we have a lot of students coming on and off campus with their own devices and things like that, you know, we discovered we weren't maybe doing things optimally or the smart way there.

So it gave us an opportunity to take a serious look at how are we standing up devices. How are we standing up buildings? How are we onboarding new services? How are we doing security for all of these things and, you know, NSX gave us a fresh look at that, and also different ways to address that with NSX. With micro-segmentation we're able to break out different networks and have special networks for students and things like that.

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