What is network virtualization, and how does it differ from software-defined networking (SDN)?

In contrast to SDN, in which hardware remains the driving force, VMware network virtualization technology truly decouples network resources from underlying hardware. Virtualization principles are applied to physical network infrastructure, abstracting network services to create a flexible pool of transport capacity that can be allocated, utilized and repurposed on demand.

How Do Virtualized Networks Work?

In a close analogy to the virtual machine, a virtualized network is a software container that presents logical network components—logical switches, routers, firewalls, load balancers, VPNs and more—to connected workloads.

These virtualized networks are programmatically created, provisioned and managed, with the underlying physical network serving as a simple packet-forwarding backplane. Network and security services are allocated to each VM according to its needs, and stay attached to it as the VM moves among hosts in the dynamic virtualized environment.

VMware’s network virtualization platform, NSX,  deploys on top of existing physical network hardware and supports the newest fabrics and geometries from all vendors. Existing applications and monitoring tools work smoothly with NSX without any modifications.