Since Windows 2012 we’ve had a new feature in Hyper-V known as
Virtual Networking network virtualization. Strictly speaking Virtual Networking has always been a part of Hyper-V however in windows 2012 it has become a center feature of the system with improvements and additions coming with 2012R2. So what is Virtual Networking network virtualization? Well Virtual Networking network virtualization is Microsoft’s take on SDN. Now I guess your all asking me what is SDN? SDN stands for software defined networking. So before we start I’m going to have to explain what SDN is, after understanding what SDN is we can carry on to explain what Virtual Networking offers us in Hyper-V.
In a nutshell, SDN makes change possible by separating the network control plane from the data plane, meaning control of the network is pried out of the devices that forward the packets and is centralized on a server called a controller. Rather than the classic approach of each network device principally worrying about adjacent devices and forwarding traffic based on that knowledge, centralizing intelligence makes it possible to see the network end-to-end and make smarter, big picture decisions, and when it comes time to make network changes, you can touch the network once instead of having to update each link in the chain.
What this basically means is that all network operation are configured and performed at a central location with out the need for separate configuration on switches, routers, load balancers etc. Instead we can purchase cheaper and simpler hardware and perform all of the configuration at a central location. To be more clear it’s not just the configuration that is central, it’s also the actual implementation is performed by the controller and not the end device.
With Hyper-V you can think of the hyper-V hosts as your network controllers. Stay tuned for part II where I’ll start to explain Hyper-v’s
virtual networking network virtualization capabilities and what it’s good for.