VMware NSX series – Part 1 Introduction to network virtualization

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A couple of years ago, server virtualization has create a huge change in the way system administrator used to deal with compute and storage, allowing them to produce virtual machine in a matter of seconds and much more.

Nowadays server virtualization is a standard and system administrator can’t understand why they are blocked by network services that still needs to be provision manually.

According to them, network provisioning is slow, non-efficient and manual which leads to configuration errors.

Well that’s what they say to push for network virtualization…


Anyway, because your system administrator team, IT manager, vendors and so on keeps pushing you, this is now time to look at network virtualization.


1. What’s network virtualization:

Network virtualization is the ability to reproduce the complete network services (L2 to L7) in software.

Network virtualization can take different forms and aspects depending of the vendors, equipment, software.


2. Network virtualization definition:


Let’s start with some important definition in order to understand this network virtualization concept:


Those definitions have been taken directly from the Documentation center for VMware vSphere5.1

vSphere Standard Switches (VSS): This is a standard switch that can bridge traffic internally between virtual machines in the same port group and link to external networks

vSphere Distributed Switches (VDS): This is a single switch across all associated hosts. This enables you to set network configurations that span across all member hosts, and allows virtual machines to maintain consistent network configuration as they migrate across multiple hosts.

Port groups : Port groups aggregate multiple ports under a common configuration and provide a stable anchor point for virtual machines connecting to labeled networks.

Distributed port groups : A distributed port group specifies port configuration options for each member port on a vSphere distributed switch.


Please note that VMware has a perfect documentation, you can find all the info needed on their documentation center:





In the next post, we will have a look at VMware NSX.



VMware NSX series – Part 1 Introduction to network virtualization