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Network Virtualization: A Basic Virtualized Enterprise

Chapter Description

The authors of Network Virtualization define the technical requirements posed by the need to virtualize the network. Based on these requirements, they propose an architectural framework comprised of the functional areas necessary to successfully support concurrent virtual networks (VNs) over a shared enterprise physical network.

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Network Virtualization

Network Virtualization



You can use many technologies to virtualize the enterprise network. Regardless of the technologies of choice, they must provide the functionality required in the three areas discussed:

  • Transport virtualization
  • Edge authorization
  • Central services access (VN perimeter)

The network architect should be well aware of how these functional blocks interface with each other and always keep in mind that virtualizing the network must not come at the expense of important resiliency and performance characteristics in the network. However, because of the new technologies put in place, there will be an impact in the operations and processes for the maintenance of the network. In the long term, this impact is likely to be a positive one as new operational efficiencies are gained and operational costs tend to diminish.

It is also important to remember that when virtualizing a network, not everything must be migrated onto the VNs created. VN technologies are overlaid onto the existing operational network infrastructure. Therefore, the network continues to function as it did before the virtualization, but now has VNs overlaid on top of it. The endpoints using the network could belong to the original network or to a VN. This provides a clear path to a phased migration and support for groups that do not require a dedicated VN.