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Overlays may be the best path forward for networking
This article is part of the Network Evolution issue of April 2013
The network must virtualize, and overlay networks may be the best path available. The demand for network virtualization is prompted by the cloud provider community’s quest for a new way to manage, orchestrate and automate network management. Traditional networks just can’t keep pace with the cloud’s requirements for agility, flexibility and manageability. In an effort to evolve, the networking industry is virtualizing networks to give them properties similar to server virtualization. This network virtualization involves networks being decoupled from hardware, with the flexibility of virtualization and quick provisioning speeds. One way to decouple networks is to create a virtual network abstraction. Just like server virtualization provided a virtual machine abstraction from x86 hardware, networks can provide virtual network abstractions with the same properties and operational simplicity. How can you create virtual network abstractions? This is where overlay networks come into play. Role of Overlays in Network Virtualization An ...
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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.