Article | June 9, 2022
Network virtualization has emerged as the widely recommended solution for the networking paradigm's future. Virtualization has the potential to revolutionize networks in addition to providing a cost-effective, flexible, and secure means of communication.
Network virtualization isn't an all-or-nothing concept. It can help several organizations with differing requirements, or it can provide a bunch of new advantages for a single enterprise. It is the process of combining a network's physical hardware into a single, virtual network. This is often accomplished by running several virtual guest machines in software containers on a single physical host system.
Network virtualization is indeed the new gold standard for networking, and it is being embraced by enterprises of all kinds globally. By integrating their current network gear into a single virtual network, businesses can reduce operating expenses, automate network and security processes, and lay the groundwork for future growth.
Network virtualization also enables organizations to simulate traditional hardware like servers, storage devices, and network resources. The physical network performs basic tasks like packet forwarding, while virtual versions handle more complex activities like networking service management and deployment.
Addressing Network Virtualization Challenges
Surprisingly, IT teams might encounter network virtualization challenges that are both technical and non-technical in nature. Let's look at some common challenges and discuss how to overcome them.
Change in Network Architecture
Practically, the first big challenge is shifting from an architecture that depends heavily on routers, switches, and firewalls. Instead, these services are detached from conventional hardware and put on hypervisors that virtualize these operations. Virtualized network services are shared, scaled, and moved as required.
Migrating current LANs and data centers to a virtualized platform require careful planning. This migration involves the following tasks:
Determine how much CPU, computation, and storage resources will be required to run virtualized network services.
Determine the optimal approach for integrating network resilience and security services.
Determine how the virtualized network services will be implemented in stages to avoid disrupting business operations.
The key to a successful migration is meticulous preparation by architects who understand the business's network requirements. This involves a thorough examination of existing apps and services, as well as a clear knowledge of how data should move across the company most effectively.
Moreover, a progressive approach to relocation is often the best solution. In this instance, IT teams can make changes to the virtualization platform without disrupting the whole corporate network.
Network virtualization has the potential to considerably expand the number of logical technology layers that must collaborate. As a result, traditional network and data center monitoring technologies no longer have insight into some of these abstracted levels. In other circumstances, visibility can be established, but the tools fail to show the information correctly so that network operators can understand it. In either case, deploying and managing modern network visibility technologies is typically the best choice. When an issue arises, NetOps personnel are notified of the specific service layer.
Automation and AI
The enhanced level of automation and self-service operations that can be built into a platform is a fundamental aspect of network virtualization. While these activities can considerably increase the pace of network upgrades while decreasing management overhead, they need the documentation and implementation of a new set of standards and practices. Understand that prior network architectures were planned and implemented utilizing actual hardware appliances on a hop-by-hop basis. A virtualized network, on the other hand, employs a centralized control plane to govern and push policies to all sections of the network. Changes may occur more quickly in this aspect, but various components must be coordinated to accomplish their roles in harmony.
As a result, network teams should move their attention away from network operations that are already automated. Rather, their new responsibility is to guarantee that the core automation processes and AI are in sync in order to fulfill those automated tasks.
Driving Competitive Edge with Network Virtualization
Virtualization in networking or virtual machines within an organization is not a new trend. Even small and medium businesses have realized the benefits of network virtualization, especially when combined with a hosted cloud service provider. Because of this, the demand for enterprise network virtualization is rising, driving higher end-user demands and the proliferation of devices and business tools. These network virtualization benefits can help boost business growth and gain a competitive edge.
Gaining a Competitive Edge: Network Virtualization Benefits
Cost-Savings on Hardware
Faster Desktop and Server Provisioning and Deployment
Improved Data Security and Disaster Recovery
Increasing IT Operational Efficiency
Small Footprint and Energy Saving
Network Virtualization: The Path to Digital Transformation
Business is at the center of digital transformation, but technology is needed to make it happen. Integrated clouds, highly modern data centers, digital workplaces, and increased data center security are all puzzle pieces, and putting them all together requires a variety of various products and services that are deployed cohesively.
The cloud revolution is still having an influence on IT, transforming how digital content is consumed and delivered. This should come as no surprise that such a shift has influenced how we feel about current networking. When it boils down to it, the purpose of digital transformation for every company, irrespective of industry, is the same: to boost the speed with which you can respond to market changes and evolving business needs; to enhance your ability to embrace and adapt to new technology, and to improve overall security. As businesses realize that the underlying benefit of cloud adoption and enhanced virtualization isn't simply about cost savings, digital strategies are evolving, becoming more intelligent and successful in the process.
Network virtualization is also a path toward the smooth digital transformation of any business.
How does virtualization help in accelerating digital transformation?
Combining public and private clouds, involving hardware-based computing, storage, and networking software definition. A hyper-converged infrastructure that integrates unified management with virtualized computing, storage, and networking could be included.
Creating a platform for greater productivity by providing the apps and services consumers require when and when they utilize them. This should include simplifying application access and administration as well as unifying endpoint management.
Improving network security and enhancing security flexibility to guarantee that quicker speed to market is matched by tighter security.
Virtualization will also help businesses to move more quickly and safely, bringing products—and profits—to market faster.
Enhancing Security with Network Virtualization
Security has evolved as an essential component of every network architecture. However, since various areas of the network are often segregated from one another, it might be challenging for network teams to design and enforce network virtualization security standards that apply to the whole network.
Zero trust can integrate such network parts and their accompanying virtualization activities. Throughout the network, the zero-trust architecture depends on the user and device authentication. If LAN users wish to access data center resources, they must first be authenticated.
The secure connection required for endpoints to interact safely is provided by a zero-trust environment paired with network virtualization. To facilitate these interactions, virtual networks can be ramped up and down while retaining the appropriate degree of traffic segmentation.
Access policies, which govern which devices can connect with one another, are a key part of this process. If a device is allowed to access a data center resource, the policy should be understood at both the WAN and campus levels.
Some of the core network virtualization security features are:
Isolation and multitenancy are critical features of network virtualization.
Segmentation is related to isolation; however it is utilized in a multitier virtual network.
A network virtualization platform's foundation includes firewalling technologies that enable segmentation inside virtual networks.
Network virtualization enables automatic provisioning and context-sharing across virtual and physical security systems.
Investigating the Role of Virtualization in Cloud Computing
Virtualization in the cloud computing domain refers to the development of virtual resources (such as a virtual server, virtual storage device, virtual network switch, or even a virtual operating system) from a single resource of its type that also shows up as several personal isolated resources or environments that users can use as a separate individual physical resource.
Virtualization enables the benefits of cloud computing, such as ease of scaling up, security, fluid or flexible resources, and so on. If another server is necessary, a virtual server will be immediately created, and a new server will be deployed. When we need more memory, we increase the virtual server configurations we currently have, and we now have the extra RAM we need. As a result, virtualization is the underlying technology of the cloud computing business model.
The Benefits of Virtualization in Cloud Computing:
Efficient hardware utilization
Virtualization improves availability
Disaster recovery is quick and simple
Energy is saved by virtualization
Setup is quick and simple
Cloud migration has become simple
Motivating Factors for the Adoption of Network Virtualization
Demand for enterprise networks continues to climb, owing to rising end-user demands and the proliferation of devices and business software. Thanks to network virtualization, IT companies are gaining the ability to respond to shifting demands and match their networking capabilities with their virtualized storage and computing resources. In fact, according to a recent SDxCentral report, 88% of respondents believe it is "important" or "mission critical" to implement a network virtualization software over the next two to five years.
Virtualization is also an excellent alternative for businesses that employ outsourced IT services, are planning mergers or acquisitions or must segregate IT teams owing to regulatory compliance.
Reasons to Adopt Network Virtualization:
A Business Needs Speed
Security Requirements Are Rising
Apps can Move Around
IT Automation and Orchestration
Reduce Hardware Dependency and CapEx: Adopt Multi-Tenancy Cloud
Network virtualization and cloud computing are emerging technologies of the future. As CIOs get actively involved in organizational systems, these new concepts will be implemented in more businesses. As consumer demand for real-time services expands, businesses will be driven to explore network virtualization as the best way to take their networks to the next level. The networking future is here.
Why is network virtualization important for business?
By integrating their current network gear into a single virtual network, businesses can reduce operating expenses, automate network and security processes, and set the stage for future growth.
Where is network virtualization used?
Network virtualization can be utilized in application development and testing to simulate hardware and system software realistically. Network virtualization in application performance engineering allows for the modeling of connections among applications, services, dependencies, and end users for software testing.
How does virtualization work in cloud computing?
Virtualization, in short, enables cloud providers to provide users alongside existing physical computer infrastructure. As a simple and direct process, it allows cloud customers to buy only the computing resources they require when they want them and to maintain those resources cost-effectively as the demand grows.
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