Network Virtualization

Definition

Network Virtualization refers to the process of managing and coordinating network resources by splitting available bandwidth into independent channels or networks, each of which can be assigned to a particular server or device in real time. It simplifies network management by hiding the physical complexity of networks. Essentially, it creates virtual networks that work independently from the underlying physical network.

Phonetic

The phonetic spelling for “Network Virtualization” would be: Net-wurk Virt-u-al-i-zay-shun

Key Takeaways

  1. Enhanced Efficiency and Control: Network Virtualization allows for the easy and quick modification of software-based networks, compared to the traditional hardware-based changes. This enables businesses to deploy, scale, and adjust networks on-demand and without excessive expenses.
  2. Cost-effectiveness and Scale: With Network Virtualization, businesses can scale their operations more efficiently as they can create numerous virtual networks from a single physical network. Similarly, virtual networks facilitate better utilization of existing hardware, which can lead to cost-cutting.
  3. Improved Network Security: Network Virtualization often includes built-in, enhanced security features such as isolation of network traffic, which makes it harder for unauthorized individuals to access sensitive data. Cloud service providers can also centrally apply security and access policies, potentially reducing the risk of human error.

Importance

Network Virtualization is an important technology term because it significantly improves efficiency, scalability, and agility in modern computing and digital networking processes. It allows multiple virtual networks to operate independently on the same physical hardware and makes better use of network resources. It also improves management capabilities by simplifying the network architecture and making it easier to modify, adapt, and troubleshoot. The technology also allows for better security and isolation between networks, reduces dependency on hardware, and enables quicker deployment of network services. Essentially, network virtualization offers advantages in performance, cost reduction, operational efficiency, and business resilience making it vital for businesses and organizations in this digital age.

Explanation

Network virtualization is a method employed in information technology to optimize network resources and improve their overall functionality. It works on the main principle of dividing the available bandwidth into independent channels, each of which can be assigned to servers and devices in real time. This technology serves a crucial role in managing and structuring data in a precise manner, a critical need in a world where the volume of data is constantly on the surge. Importantly, rather than managing each device and server individually, network virtualization allows administrators to manage a network in its entirety.One of the main uses of network virtualization is to improve the efficiency, flexibility, and scalability of computing environments. For instance, it allows businesses to develop and manage complex networks within a single hardware infrastructure, thus saving costs and enhancing productivity. The virtual networks created through this technology can be segmented, grouped, and isolated, thereby improving security by reducing the likelihood of a system-wide cyber attack. Furthermore, network virtualization can facilitate faster and more effective responses to changing business needs, providing a significant advantage in today’s dynamic and competitive business environment.

Examples

1. VMware NSX: VMware, a leading cloud computing and virtualization software provider, offers NSX, a virtual networking and security software platform. VMware NSX allows for the creation of entire networks in software and embeds them in the hypervisor layer, abstracted from the underlying physical hardware. It provides features like logical switches, routers, firewalls, and load balancers.2. Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC): Amazon Web Services offers Amazon VPC for users to launch AWS resources in a virtual network. Users have complete control over their virtual networking environment, including selection of their own IP address range, creation of subnets, and configuration of route tables and network gateways. It helps users to extend their corporate data center into the cloud.3. Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI): Cisco’s ACI is a software-defined networking solution that allows businesses to set up automated processes and improve network performance. It presents a centralized point of automation and management, policy programming, and health monitoring for network and application services. ACI enables scalable multi-cloud networks with a consistent policy model and provides the flexibility of deploying applications and services anywhere.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Sure, here is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section for the technology term Network Virtualization:Q1: What is Network Virtualization?A1: Network virtualization refers to the process of combining hardware and software network resources, and network functionality, into a single software-based administrative unit, known as a virtual network.Q2: What are the benefits of Network Virtualization?A2: Network virtualization provides numerous benefits including reduction of hardware costs, increased network scalability, improved efficiency, enhanced security, and simplified network management.Q3: What’s the difference between Network Virtualization and Software-Defined Networking (SDN)?A3: While both involve managing network services through software, network virtualization allows several networks to operate on the same physical hardware while SDN separates the network control (brain) and forwarding (muscle) into two functional layers for more centralized planning and administration.Q4: What are some examples of Network Virtualization?A4: Examples of network virtualization include Virtual Local Area Networks (VLANs), Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking.Q5: Is Network Virtualization secure?A5: Network virtualization can enhance security by isolating networks, deploying virtual firewalls, and controlling network traffic. However, it requires proper security measures to avoid potential vulnerabilities.Q6: How does Network Virtualization impact performance?A6: Network virtualization usually improves network performance by optimizing resource allocation. However, in some cases, if not properly implemented, it can create potential bottlenecks.Q7: Who typically uses Network Virtualization?A7: Network virtualization is commonly used by businesses with a large network infrastructure, cloud service providers, data centers, telecommunication companies, and organizations seeking to improve their network management and efficiency.Q8: What skills are required to manage a Virtual Network?A8: Management of virtual networks typically requires knowledge of network structures, network virtualization software, network security, system administration, and often programming knowledge for software-defined networking.Q9: Can Network Virtualization help in disaster recovery?A9: Yes, network virtualization can greatly assist in disaster recovery scenarios by providing network redundancy, easy data replication and faster recovery of virtual machines.Q10: What is Network Function Virtualization (NFV)?A10: NFV is a part of network virtualization that focuses on optimizing the network services themselves. Instead of relying on dedicated hardware appliances to run network services, these services are virtualized and run on commodity servers.

Related Tech Terms

  • Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
  • Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
  • Virtual Network Interface Card (VNIC)
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • Virtual Local Area Network (VLAN)

Sources for More Information

Table of Contents