Exploring Different Types of Virtualization in Data Center Network

Posted on Jun 16, 2023 by

In the ever-evolving field of information technology, different types of virtualization technologies have been widely used in data center networks. With their ability to abstract and pool network resources, these network virtualization technologies pave the way for more efficient and flexible network deployments. This article aims to delve into the concept of network virtualization and explore different types of virtualization technologies.

What is Network Virtualization Technology?

Network virtualization technology allows for the creation of multiple virtual networks on a shared physical network infrastructure. It decouples the logical network from the underlying physical network, providing organizations with enhanced flexibility and scalability in network management. By abstracting network resources, network virtualization enables the efficient utilization of infrastructure, reduces costs, and simplifies network provisioning.

One approach to network virtualization is the use of overlays, which encapsulate virtual networks within the existing physical network infrastructure. Overlays provide an abstraction layer, allowing virtual networks to operate independently of the underlying physical network. This method enables organizations to create isolated and logically separate networks, even if they share the same physical infrastructure. Several different types of virtualization technologies used in switch networks are described below.

What Do You Know About Different Types of Virtualization

There are several different types of virtualization technologies used in networks. Let's explore some of the most prominent ones.

VXLAN (Virtual Extensible LAN)

VXLAN is a widely adopted network virtualization technology that extends Layer 2 networks over Layer 3 networks. It addresses the limitations of traditional VLANs by enabling greater scalability and flexibility. VXLAN leverages encapsulation techniques to overlay virtual networks on top of an existing IP network infrastructure, enabling the seamless migration of virtual machines across different physical hosts. The infrastructure that makes up the data center architecture, such as data center switches, basically has the VxLAN virtual protocol, which can realize data virtualization.

NVGRE (Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation)

Similar to VXLAN, NVGRE is an overlay network virtualization technology that allows for the creation of virtual Layer 2 networks over Layer 3 networks. NVGRE uses encapsulation techniques to encapsulate Layer 2 frames within IP packets, enabling the extension of virtual networks across physical boundaries. It provides enhanced network isolation and scalability, making it suitable for multi-tenant environments.

STT (Stateless Transport Tunneling)

STT is a network virtualization protocol that operates at the transport layer of the network stack. It focuses on providing a lightweight and flexible encapsulation mechanism for virtual network traffic. STT encapsulates packets with a lightweight header, allowing for efficient network communication across virtual networks. It is designed to be stateless, simplifying network operations and improving performance.

SPBM (Shortest Path Bridging MAC-in-MAC)

SPBM is a network virtualization technology that leverages MAC-in-MAC encapsulation to enable the creation of virtual networks. It provides a scalable and efficient way to build and manage virtual networks in a data center environment. SPBM uses a distributed control plane to dynamically assign MAC addresses and manage network forwarding, facilitating efficient traffic routing and load balancing.

Exploring the Benefits of Different Types of Virtualization in Data Center

Network virtualization empowers organizations to adapt quickly to changing network requirements and deploy applications more efficiently. Each of the different types of virtualization provides flexibility in terms of network design and scalability, ensuring that businesses can meet their evolving needs.

  • 1. Enhanced Flexibility: Network virtualization enables the creation of virtual networks on demand, allowing for flexible resource allocation and provisioning.

  • 2. Improved Scalability: By decoupling the logical network from the physical infrastructure, network virtualization allows for seamless scaling of network resources. The use of virtual overlays enables the creation of multiple virtual networks without the need for physical network reconfiguration. This scalability is particularly crucial in data center environments where resource demands can vary greatly. Whether it's VXLAN, NVGRE, STT, or SPBM, each virtualization technology offers the scalability required to handle expanding network requirements.

  • 3. Enhanced Security and Isolation: Network virtualization provides isolation between virtual networks, enhancing security and preventing unauthorized access. With different types of virtualization, businesses can establish separate virtual networks with their own security policies and controls. This isolation ensures that traffic and data within each virtual network remain private and protected. It becomes easier to enforce security measures and maintain compliance with regulatory requirements.

  • 4. Simplified Management: Managing a complex network infrastructure can be challenging, but network virtualization simplifies the process. By abstracting the underlying physical infrastructure, organizations can centrally control and configure virtual networks. This centralized management streamlines network provisioning, configuration changes, and troubleshooting. Whether it's VXLAN, NVGRE, STT, or SPBM, each virtualization technology provides management capabilities that simplify network operations and reduce administrative overhead.

  • 5. Cost Efficiency: Virtualizing networks can lead to significant cost savings by optimizing resource utilization. Rather than having dedicated hardware for each network segment, virtualization allows for the pooling and sharing of network resources. This means that businesses can achieve higher utilization rates of their physical infrastructure, resulting in reduced capital and operational expenses. The different types of virtualization technologies offer cost-effective solutions for building and managing virtual networks, making efficient use of available resources.


In the realm of network virtualization, different types of virtualization technologies offer unique capabilities and advantages. VXLAN, NVGRE, STT, and SPBM are just a few examples of the virtualization solutions available. These technologies provide flexibility, scalability, security, simplified management, and cost efficiency in data center applications.

As organizations strive to meet the demands of a dynamic and rapidly evolving digital landscape, network virtualization emerges as a vital tool. By leveraging the power of different types of virtualization technologies, businesses can unlock the full potential of their networks, achieving agility, scalability, and cost savings in their network deployments.

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