What Is a Virtualization Network?
By Tobias Geisler Mesevage
Virtualization is a term most often used to refer to sharing resources between servers and storage. However, as technology has evolved, virtualization networks have become the next layer of optimization.
Network virtualization combines hardware and software resources and services — from different networks — into a single entity so that it’s possible to manage the sharing of storage, computing cycles and applications. Further, it’s possible to combine different networks into a single virtual network and reallocate resources like bandwidth into separate channels. Each channel can be assigned to a particular server or device in real time.
Benefits of a Virtualization Network
Virtualization can help optimize an organization’s network in terms of reliability, scalability, affordability, security and flexibility.
How network virtualization helps security
One of the best features of network virtualization is its isolation. Because virtual networks are distributed independently of each other, it inherently minimizes the effect of a malware attack. That is to say, if one network is attacked, the virus won’t automatically extend to the others. Additionally, it’s easy to leverage resources from other networks to maintain business continuity, while coping with the infected network.
Why network virtualization improves reliability
Network virtualization helps improve the functionality of business-critical applications because reallocating resources reduces the concern of whether applications are receiving enough bandwidth to operate reliably, and ensures applications on the same physical networks aren’t affecting one another.
How network virtualization creates flexibility
To ensure business continuity, many organizations use multiple internet service provider (ISP) connections so that if one connection is interrupted, business can continue as usual through access to another connection. While this strategy works, it also leads to underused or wasted resources. But through network virtualization, organizations can bond all network connections to a single virtual pipe and then redistribute them strategically, which helps an enterprise use resources more effectively.
Network virtualization for scalability and affordability
Virtualization enhances scalability strategies for an enterprise. By combining and strategically dispersing resources, you can:
Reduce investments in hardware
Use resources more effectively
Retire legacy equipment
By cutting costs, without cutting into productivity, your organization can scale effectively.
The reallocation of network resources also helps organizations:
Simplify management by offering centralized access control
Allow for rapid change which improves scalability and agile deployment
Eliminate the need to consider network traffic outside the processor, which helps an organization achieve a high degree of network availability, security, and performance
Increase flexibility and automates network configuration which translates into faster, more reliable application deployment with less manual interaction
Network virtualization is particularly beneficial for networks that experience large, sudden, or unpredictable usage surges.
Complementary Virtualization Techniques
In addition to network virtualization, an enterprise also can take advantage of the following virtualization techniques that are harmonious, and can continue to increase reliability, scalability, affordability, and flexibility within an organization:
Server Virtualization – Dividing a single physical server into smaller, isolated virtual servers to reallocate resources more strategically.
Application Virtualization – The separation of an application installation from the client computer and the user accessing it, which allows computing resources to be distributed dynamically in real-time.
Storage Virtualization – Pooling the storage from multiple storage devices into one or more devices with storage capacity, then allowing resources to be managed from a central console.
Desktop Virtualization – The technique of isolating an operating system instance from the client that is used to access it whether that’s locally or remotely.