Network Virtualization 101 – Virtualization or VMware In order to understand network virtualization, it is important to understand what virtualization is. Virtualization, on the most basic level, is referred to as the process in which you enable a single hardware device, such as a desktop, to act as if it is several devices. This is done with virtualization software, such as VMware.
In a workplace, the IT staff would install the virtualization software on a desktop and then load multiple operating systems on that same machine. Virtualization can, for example, enable a Mac computer to operate with an operating system like Windows as well as its own Apple-issued software.
Virtualizing a network
Now take the same concept to a network level and you simply have one network acting as several networks. If you already have a network set up, you will have many of the parts needed to create a virtual network such as network media, firewalls, storage hardware, hand-held devices and laptops, switches, and adapters. All you will need is the right virtualization software to install and you can set up a virtual network. For a great source on the right software to use, visit
Why virtualize your network?
There are several reasons why you might want to consider virtual networks for your business. First of all, virtualization can save you money because it requires less hardware than a traditional network does. Second, a virtual network makes it possible for people to connect even when in completely different parts of the country. For example, the sales department of an office in another country can work with the sales people in your corporate office through the same network. This means that everyone can access the same features as if they were in the same building, making work more productive and effective.
Third, a virtual network is considered more secure since it is run from one machine rather than multiple hardware devices, as a traditional network is. Fourth, with a virtual network you can monitor the traffic coming into your system more than you can on a regular network.
External or Internal virtual network?
There are two types of virtual networks—external and internal.
• External virtual network – typically used by large corporations and data centers to combine several local networks into a virtual network that is easier to manage.
• Internal virtual network – this network does not use an internet adapter. Connects virtual machines on a virtual server.
The future of virtualization
While virtualization has been available for quite some time, the technology is still in a developmental stage and tech companies are already working on new ways to apply it.
One new focus for virtualization is smart phones and tablets. Steve Herrod, chief technology officer at VMware, recently
told Wired Magazine’seditor that the company is working on a tool that will let large corporations install a virtual machine on a mobile device. The machine would enable the employee to work on the company’s mobile network and give companies the power to control what happens on that network.
Virtual data centers
Also on the development list for VMware is a virtual data center and this is a concept that is being explored by other virtualization companies as well.
Advanced virtual networks
Another company in Maryland, IP Technology Labs, recently announced that they have launched a new feature to their virtualization service that enables companies to set up a secure virtual network on any internet connection and in any location around the world.
David Malmborg works with Dell. When he isn’t working, he enjoys hiking, spending time with family and researching new technology. He is currently learning more about HPC and the intersect with the cloud. He recommends
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