Network Virtualisation

Network virtualisation is the process of combining hardware and software network resources and network functionality into a single, software-based administrative entity, a virtual network.   


External network virtualisation: A virtual local area network (VLAN) is a concept of partitioning a physical network, so that distinct broadcast domains are created.  This is usually achieved at a network switch or router level, where devices can mark network packets through tagging, so that a single physical network route (/cable) may be used to transport data for various VLANs.


Benefit – To physically replicate the functions of a VLAN would require a separate, parallel collection of network cables and equipment separate from the primary network – the VLAN gets around this.


Internal network virtualisation:  Citrix and Vyatta have built a Virtual Network Stack combining Vyatta's routing, firewall and IPsec VPN functionality with Citrix Netscaler load balancer, Branch Repeater WAN optimisation and Access Gateway SSL VPN.  The vNetworkStack project is defining entire virtualised network architectures for branch offices, data centres and cloud computing environments.


Vendors and Products

  • Citrix Netscaler load balancer
  • Branch Repeater WAN optimisation
  • Access Gateway SSL VPN