How Does Network Virtualization Work?
Network virtualization separates the services a physical network provides from the hardware. It allows administrators to allocate those services virtually to create a new network or several networks. Administrators accomplish this by using a network hypervisor that allows the creation of an abstract layer to host different virtual networks. Network virtualization enables the delivery of services using software. VNs, while sharing the hypervisor’s platform, are independent of each other with their own security protocols.
The components of network virtualization are:
- Hypervisor: Serves as a platform for the VNs.
- Controller software: Allows the automation or configuration and management of network infrastructure, thus avoiding manually designing devices and services
- Host protocols: Used on Internet Protocol (IP) to provide a secure method for a host to connect to other networks
- Virtual routing and switching: Virtual routing allows the existence of many virtual routers within one router, while virtual switching enables virtual machines (VMs) to communicate with one another
- Management tools: This software connects VMs and physical hardware in network virtualization, thus cutting back on the administration of resources, allowing for more efficient data analysis and helping to shrink operations
Types of Network Virtualization
There are three types of network virtualization:
Network virtualization in data centers
Data centers have long used virtual networking with VLANs and Virtual Private Networks (VPNs). Businesses wanted to find ways to improve security and streamline control. SDN was one answer. It allowed for more centralized control and has evolved to include infrastructure code, a method of using software and automation to design and manage resources instead of doing them manually. It’s also been a champion of zero-trust security, which tightly controls access to resources and communication between VMs.
Network virtualization in the WAN
SDN allows wide area networks (WANs) to adopt virtualization. This allows for more appropriate bandwidth use for enterprise applications and business needs. Zero trust and Software Defined Parameters (SDP) are also now an essential part of network visualization in WANs.
Network virtualization in the LAN
VLANs are commonly used to build isolated VNs and to better control network traffic. SD-LAN software has adopted zero trust for more comprehensive security as the internet encounters increased security threats.
Internal Versus External Virtualization
These two terms describe the location of internal and external virtual networks in relation to a server. Internal virtualization uses software containers stored on a single network server. When you use containers, you can isolate applications or run different operating systems on the same server. External virtualization refers to combining systems on the same LAN into several VLANs, or several separate LANs into one VLAN.