An important factor in a virtualized infrastructure is networking. Technologies like VXLAN, Open vSwitch, OpenFlow, etc. are becoming more prevalent and important for your virtualized infrastructure. Understanding the application behavior on the network, both virtual and physical, is probably more important now than ever before. Such knowledge directly translates into how well you can anticipate growth, where in the infrastructure you focus your efforts, and how well you can evaluate the relevance of new technologies to your environment.
Brad Hedlund explains in a recent article about server-to-server hops (a.k.a. "trombones"), "horseshoe routing, and "spaghetti mess". Sounds interesting doesn't it? Brad states "...the reality that we face today is that with network virtualization and overlays, the definition of "the network" is starting to change. Perhaps the way we think about the network, and the way we engineer it, may need to change along with it... The application topology is now vastly simplified because it's constructed by a single logical "switch", a software virtual switch. The vast underlying physical network is hidden inside the virtual sheet metal of this single logical switch."
Brad helps you understand the mechanics sot that "...when a switch vendor boasts about VXLAN capabilities in their new hardware - is that a big deal? Or not? What about a distributed network services platform like Embrane? What kind of impact will that have on your applications and infrastructure? Only somebody who knows exactly how the applications overlay the physical and logical network will be able to efficiently answer these questions."