What is Network Virtualization?
Virtualization has become the standard method for delivering IT solutions. It abstracts applications and services from the physical components of IT infrastructure. The trend began with the virtualization of industry-standard servers and compute resources, and then quickly spread to include client virtualization. Storage was soon added to the mix of IT resources that are virtualized.
The same is also true for networking infrastructure via Network Virtualization and software-defined networking.
How is Network Virtualization done?
Network Virtualization decouples network functions from the underlying hardware. It allows generic industry-standard hardware to be configured as a network switch, router, load balancer, or as any other type of network equipment via software. This allows networks to be programmatically created, deployed and managed at a level that is abstracted from the underlying network infrastructure. All that the underlying physical network components need to be able to do is route IP network packets.
Devices that deliver traditional network functions, such as firewalls, routers, load balancers, and more are encapsulated in virtual machines or containers and deployed to virtual hosts alongside virtual machines running as servers and clients. This makes the networking infrastructure as flexible and as agile as virtualization and containerization have made the provision and delivery of servers and virtual clients.
The Kemp LoadMaster range of industry-leading load balancers are available as virtual machine options that are fully compatible with network virtualization infrastructure deployment models.
Benefits of Network Virtualization
There are many reasons to embrace virtualization for network infrastructure. It delivers an agile yet robust networking platform at a lower cost. At the same time, it makes IT provision easier to manage and allows for the orchestration of services and applications. Organizations are able to flex their IT infrastructure to match changing circumstances when virtual networking is in place, alongside server, client, and storage virtualization.
Some tangible benefits for network virtualization are:
- Increased efficiency via network automation.
- Reduced deployment times for new applications. From weeks to minutes.
- Configure networks based on logical requirements rather than underlying physical topology.
- Improve security and incident response times.