Editor's note: The confluence of terms around VMware virtual networking concepts can get confusing. Virtual networking...
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive emails regarding relevant topic offers from TechTarget and its partners. You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact TechTarget at 275 Grove Street, Newton, MA.
and software-defined networking aren't the same thing, but they're often confused.
And these technologies are both still emerging. Today, a VMware infrastructure is unlikely to incorporate software-defined networking (SDN), although the technology has been much discussed since VMware snapped up Nicira in 2012.
As VMware's virtual network platforms evolve, VMware administrators will find their roles expanding beyond server and virtual machine administration, and more and more into the network layer.
We asked Sander van Vugt, author of a series on VMware-based virtual networking, to explain how virtual and software-defined networks differ.
Is "SDN" network virtualization and vice versa, or do the terms refer to different networking concepts?
Network administrators can look at software-defined networking as an enhancement of virtual networking that specifically targets Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environments.
SDN is network virtualization enhanced.
Virtual networking is how you create networks that go beyond a physical network device. This can relate to IT environments that use virtual machines (VMs), but virtual networks are also found in IT environments with physical machines only. An example of a virtual network is the virtual local area network, where physical switch ports are tagged as part of the same virtual network, enabling a virtual network entity that goes further than just one switch.
SDN is network virtualization enhanced. Virtual networking is still tied directly to networking hardware, whereas SDN is completely abstracted from the physical infrastructure. SDN is important in cloud IaaS environments, where customers may deploy VMs from a cloud provider tied to completely different networks. With SDN, these VMs must appear as one integrated network infrastructure. The software-defined network uses a control plane to decide where network traffic goes. The control plane communicates its instructions to the data plane, where the actual networking occurs.
Dig Deeper on VMware and networking
Sander Van Vugt asks:
How will software-defined networking benefit your IT infrastructure?
0 ResponsesJoin the Discussion
Related Q&A from Sander Van Vugt
I want to write a shell script that contains commands for Linux partition creation. Can I automate everything so the user only inputs the partition ...continue reading
Malware on a Linux server? It can happen, but with a few tools you can monitor for, prevent and fix rootkit attacks.continue reading
When running several Linux virtual machines on VMware ESXi, is there a way to move from one to the next with a hotkey?continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.