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Overlay networks: Understanding the basics, making it a reality

With overlay networks, engineers run a virtual network layer above the physical. Learn the ins and outs of overlay networks and how companies are employing the technology today.


No longer will networks act as a bottleneck to a nimble cloud. With overlay networks, engineers have a physical network that lies on top of their physical infrastructure. That virtual network overlay allows network resources to be dynamically provisioned similarly to virtual compute and storage. This form of virtualization allows the network to be part of the overall cloud orchestration framework.

1Overlay networks 101-

Exploring the basics of overlay networks

Overlay networks run as independent virtual networks on top of a physical network infrastructure. These virtual network overlays allow cloud providers to provision and orchestrate networks alongside other virtual resources. They also offer a new path to converged networks and programmability. However, network overlays shouldn't be confused with other forms of SDN.


Overlay networks and SDN: What's the difference?

Lee Doyle explains how a physical network or the primary network can have SDN deployed as an overlay network to improve flexibility. Continue Reading


Convergence becomes possible with virtual networking

NaaS is enabled by three technologies, including SDN, and is making virtual convergence a realistic idea. Continue Reading


Are overlays the best way to do networking?

Various vendors are working on the key overlay approach that will enable virtual network abstractions. Continue Reading


Multi-tenancy made possible with virtual overlay tunneling protocols

Multi-tenant data center networks are becoming a reality with the help of virtual overlay networks and tunneling protocols. Continue Reading

2Network virtualization-

SDN overlays make way for network virtualization

Overlay networks are one form of network virtualization -- a method of combining resources in a network by splitting up available bandwidth into channels and assigning each to a particular service or device in real time. The goal of network virtualization is to improve productivity and efficiency by allowing tasks typically performed by a network administrator to be done automatically. Learn more about overlay networks' role in deploying network virtualization.


Network virtualization: Real or not?

Networking expert Keith Townsend explores why many could think network virtualization is vaporware, while others predict it could materialize sooner than expected. Continue Reading


The benefits of network virtualization

Network virtualization is generally available, and a hybrid approach may be the best way to go, as opposed to rip and replace. Continue Reading


Considering hybrid network virtualization? What you need to know

Traditional and virtual architectures can complement each other in an existing network when using network virtualization. Ethan Banks explains. Continue Reading


Why network virtualization and orchestration are key to SDN

To create a dynamic network with SDN, it's critical to understand network orchestration and virtualization to eventually gain more flexibility. Continue Reading

3Challenges and upsides-

Understanding the challenges, reaping the benefits of network overlays

The onslaught of SDN, network virtualization and overlay networks hasn't come without challenges. Read about some of the concerns network admins have with network virtualization, along with myths that exist about overlay networks and how these new approaches to the network provide benefits, like NaaS and SLAs.


Overlay networks: What's true, what's false

As new overlay networks gain momentum, some experts try to clear up several misconceptions about their performance and operational complexity. Continue Reading


Why network admins may not be on board with network virtualization

Virtualization admins weren't all on board during VMware's quest to capture the market with NSX. Continue Reading


How to make NaaS a reality

Network overlays and device-based NaaS have challenges to address before NaaS can become a full-fledged reality. Continue Reading


SLAs and SDN ensure virtualization performance

Service-level agreements are made possible when SDN and network virtualization improve server virtualization performance. Continue Reading

4Making overlays a reality-

Overlay networks in the real world

Market predictions in the past few years focused on overlay networks. Read more about overlay network use cases and how companies like Nuage Networks and Juniper Networks offer overlay network platforms.


Overlay network management predicted

According to Jim Frey, 2013 was the year for network management vendors to improve VDI, cloud and virtual overlay network monitoring. Continue Reading


Virtual switching tricks for integrating physical and virtual networks

Engineers have to bridge physical and virtual networks to make networks flexible enough to support cloud orchestration. Continue Reading


Midokura and Cumulus partner for VXLAN gateway

Midokura, an overlay network vendor, came together with Cumulus Networks to create a bare-metal switch as a VXLAN gateway. Continue Reading


A gateway appliance for network overlays by Nuage

Nuage Networks' overlay network gets better with its own services gateway that integrates bare-metal servers. Continue Reading


Juniper's open source network virtualization overlay release

Juniper Networks not only made Contrail overlay software open sourced, but it is now commercially available. Continue Reading

5Overlay networks terminology-

Overlay network definitions

Learn the terms and definitions behind concepts related to overlay networks.

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