Microsoft Network Virtualization

Hyper-V is Microsoft’s hardware virtualization product. It lets you create and run a software version of a computer, called a virtual machine. Each virtual machine acts like a complete computer, running an operating system and programs.

In Windows Server and Virtual Machine Manager, Microsoft provides an end-to-end network virtualization solution. There are five major components that comprise Microsoft’s network virtualization solution:

  • Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server provides a tenant facing portal to create virtual networks, and an administrative portal to manage virtual networks.
  • Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) provides centralized management of the network fabric.
  • Microsoft Network Controller provides a centralized, programmable point of automation to manage, configure, monitor, and troubleshoot virtual and physical network infrastructure in your datacenter.
  • Hyper-V Network Virtualization provides the infrastructure needed to virtualize network traffic.
  • Hyper-V Network Virtualization gateways provide connections between virtual and physical networks.

Hyper-V Network Virtualization provides “virtual networks” (called a VM network) to virtual machines similar to how server virtualization (hypervisor) provides “virtual machines” to the operating system. Network virtualization decouples virtual networks from the physical network infrastructure and removes the constraints of VLAN and hierarchical IP address assignment from virtual machine provisioning. This flexibility makes it easy for customers to move to IaaS clouds and efficient for hosters and datacenter administrators to manage their infrastructure, while maintaining the necessary multi-tenant isolation, security requirements, and supporting overlapping Virtual Machine IP addresses.