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Integrating physical and virtual networks: Virtual switching tactics
This article is part of the Network Evolution issue of April 2013
Now that virtualization has taken hold in the data center, engineers have pushed the network into the virtual stack in order to route virtual machine (VM) traffic. But as virtual networks proliferate, network and server pros are forced to find ways to better integrate virtual and physical infrastructures. This integration is essential to the orchestration and automation of VM provisioning and migration. Virtual networks route traffic between VMs in the stack, but it takes physical networks to connect these virtual environments to the outside world and to interconnect data centers. If the promise of automation and orchestration is the fluid provisioning and migration of VMs, virtual and physical networks have to be just as flexible, and manual network configuration for VMs won’t remain an option. What’s more, engineers must be able to move VMs across both virtual and physical networks with their security and management policies intact. All of this requires communication between physical and virtual networks. Many Virtual ...
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Features in this issue
Hybrid cloud networking falls short of enabling total orchestration across public and private clouds. Software-defined networking, network virtualization and orchestration tools will change that.
In order to make networks flexible enough to support cloud orchestration, engineers will have to bridge physical and virtual networks.
Vendors VMware, Big Switch, Cisco, and others are working to come up with the ‘winning’ overlay approach to creating virtual network abstractions.
Learn how a cloud provider and a collocation center use virtual switching to integrate physical and virtual networks.
Columns in this issue
For years, companies like Cisco have promised network virtualization, but with network software overlays and software-defined networking, the technology is finally coming to life.