“Summary: With the explosive growth of platform virtualization,
it’s not surprising that other parts of the enterprise ecosystem
are being virtualized, as well. One of the more recent areas is
virtual networking. Early implementations of platform
virtualization created virtual NICs, but today, larger portions of
the network are being virtualized, such as switches that support
communication among VMs on a server or distributed among servers.
Explore the ideas behind virtual networking, with a focus on NIC
and switch virtualization.
“Computing today is undergoing something of a revival. Although
virtualization was created decades ago, its true potential is now
being realized through the use of commodity hardware.
Virtualization consolidates server workloads for efficiency, but
other elements of the server ecosystem are emerging as candidates
for further consolidation. Many view virtualization as a
consolidation of CPU, memory, and storage, but this oversimplifies
the solution. The network is a key aspect of virtualization and
represents a first-class element of the virtualization set.
“Let’s begin with a high-level exploration of the problem, and
then dig down into the various ways that Linux® builds and
supports network virtualization.”