A key property of compute virtualization is the ability to treat a VM as a soft state, meaning it can be moved, paused, resumed, snapshotted, and rewound to a previous configuration. In order to integrate seamlessly into a virtualized environment, a network virtualization solution must support the same control and flexibility for virtual networks.
Compatible with any hypervisor platform
Network virtualization platforms must also be able to work with the full range of server hypervisors, including Xen, XenServer, KVM, ESX, and HyperV, providing the ability to control virtualized network connectivity across any network substrate as well as between hypervisor environments. This “any-to-any” paradigm shift provides for:
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More effective utilization of existing network investments,
Cost and management reduction of new, Layer 3 fabric innovations,
Workload portability from enterprise to cloud service provider environments.
Secure isolation between virtual networks, the physical network, and the control plane
The promise of multi-tenancy requires maximum utilization of computing, storage, and network assets through the sharing of the physical infrastructure. It is important that a network virtualization platform maintain this consolidation while still providing the isolation needed by regulatory compliance standards such as PCI or FINRA, as well as provide the same security guarantees of compute virtualization.
Like compute virtualization, a network virtualization platform should provide strict address isolation between virtual networks (meaning one virtual network cannot inadvertently address another) as well address isolation between the virtual networks and the physical network. This last property removes the physical network as an attack target unless the virtualization platform itself is undermined.