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Top 8 Network Virtualization Tools

VMware NSXCisco ACICisco Enterprise Network Functions VirtualizationMasergyECI MercuryCisco Elastic Services ControllerSangfor aBOSAffirmed Networks
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    The solution is easy to use and is good for management control. I really like the management dashboard, the tailor-made assurance, the telemetry, and the ease of integration with all other solutions of VMware, such as vSphere.
  2. Cisco technical support is great. The most important aspect of Cisco ACI in my opinion is the ease of management. Other solutions, like traditional solutions and pricier solutions—or even fabric and PAT—you have to do many configurations on a box-to-box basis, With Cisco ACI, you go on the AP and do some "next, next finish" installer.
  3. Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, Cisco, Masergy and others in Network Virtualization. Updated: January 2022.
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  4. It is easy to manage, easy to maintain, and stable. If you set up everything alright, it will give years without any issues.Scalability is not a problem.
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What are the three types of virtualization?

The three types of network virtualization are:

  1. Internal virtualization: This type of virtualization replicates the functionality of single networks by using software containers. Software containers allow individual applications to be isolated and also provide the ability for various operating systems to run on a single server. Internal virtualization acts within one server to mimic a physical network.
  2. External virtualization: This virtualization method improves network efficiency by combining multiple local networks into one virtual network. 
  3. Cloud-based virtualization: Unlike internal or external virtualization, to create a virtual network, cloud-based network virtualization uses cloud-based computing resources.
Why is network virtualization important?

Network virtualization is important because it gives organizations the opportunity to achieve flexibility, efficiency, and cost savings. In addition, it provides greater security, which is of utmost importance as malware, hacking, and data breaches become more common in today's digital landscape.

Why do we use network virtualization?

Organizations use network virtualization to achieve major advances in security, speed, as well as agility. Network virtualization was designed to change the way services get delivered, ranging from software-defined data centers to the cloud and to the edge. NV is used to transform static and inflexible networks into dynamic and optimized networks. Network virtualization is also used to help keep up to date with the ongoing demands of cloud-hosted, distributed applications. In addition, by using network virtualization, organizations can tackle cybercriminal threats more efficiently, and provisioning the infrastructure to support new apps takes only minutes.

How does network virtualization work?

Network virtualization works by decoupling network services from underlying hardware, making it possible to create, manage, and provision networks. When IT infrastructure elements are abstracted away from hardware, they are then pooled together. Physical network resources refer to switches, routers, firewalls, load balancing, virtual private networks (VPNs), etc. Once pooled, resources can be easily and automatically deployed to where they are most needed, which becomes especially relevant as business demands and requirements change. To be delivered in software, these resources only require internet protocol (IP) packet forwarding from the underlying physical network. Both security and network services are distributed to hypervisors in a data center (otherwise known as a virtual layer) and then they are attached to individual workloads, whether it is to your containers or your virtual machines, via predefined networking and security policies connected to your application. In the occasional case that a workload needs to be moved to another host, the security policies. along with the network services. move with it. If new workloads are created, policies operate dynamically and are appropriately applied to the workloads to scale an application, resulting in better policy consistency and also network agility.

Challenges of Network Virtualization

Although there are many advantages of using network virtualization tools, it also presents some challenges:

  • Network virtualization adds stress on software when hardware becomes more fault-prone. If switches and servers are more vulnerable to faults and failures, reliability and scalability must be built into the software, not the hardware.
  • Virtualization demands high performance from software: Virtual machines are meant to scale in and out easily. Because of the data throughput scales needed to do this, virtual machines are stressed. In turn, this puts a strong demand on a management system’s performance capabilities and on the underlying virtual compute and networking resources.
  • Network virtualization increases endpoint complexities. The number of endpoints in a large virtualized network can become unwieldy and hard for networking teams to manage while trying to keep up with so much information.
  • Staffing can also become challenging. It can be difficult to find properly trained engineers who know how to handle and manage network virtualization tools. If there aren’t enough qualified people to support the adoption of network virtualization technology, it can also stifle market growth.
Benefits of Network Virtualization Tools

Network virtualization tools provide organizations with many benefits. Below is a list of some of the major ones:

  • Improved network security
  • Helps network administrators place and move workloads independently, regardless of physical topology
  • Reduced time spent on network provisioning
  • By automating manual processes, increased operational efficiency is achieved
  • Less hardware is used, making it less expensive
  • Resources can be scaled elastically
  • Minimal effort is needed to spin workloads up or down
  • Provides workload portability and increases flexibility
  • Improves the speed of networks
  • Boosts IT productivity
  • Improved recovery times
  • Faster application delivery
  • Simplifies network traffic flows
Features of Network Virtualization Tools

Some important features to look for when assessing network virtualization tools include the following:

  • Manual process automation
  • Increased security
  • Decreased provisioning time
  • Independent workload movement
  • Compatibility with different hypervisor platforms
  • Cloud performance and scale
  • Single-pane glass management (for private and public clouds, containers, VMs, etc.)
  • Network segmentation and micro-segmentation
  • Option to deliver infrastructure as code
  • Contextual security policies
  • IDS/IPS for threat combatting (lateral)
  • Deployment on multiple platforms (virtual platforms, Cisco platforms, and third-party devices)
  • Supportive of lifecycle management, open APIs, and service chaining
  • Monitoring and maintenance of remote enterprise equipment
Find out what your peers are saying about VMware, Cisco, Masergy and others in Network Virtualization. Updated: January 2022.
563,780 professionals have used our research since 2012.