A custom virtual network is a type of network that is created and managed by software, rather than by physical devices. A virtual network can simulate the functionality and behaviour of a physical network, such as routing, switching, firewalling, or load balancing, without requiring the actual hardware. Virtual networks can also provide more flexibility, scalability, security, and efficiency than a physical network, as it can be easily created, modified, or deleted according to the needs and demands of the network users and applications.
There are different types of virtual networks, such as:
- Virtual LAN (VLAN), which is a logical grouping of network devices that share the same broadcast domain, regardless of their physical location or connection.
- Virtual Private Network (VPN), which is a secure tunnel that connects two or more remote networks or devices over a public network, such as the Internet, using encryption and authentication.
- Software-Defined Network (SDN), which is a network architecture that separates the control plane from the data plane, enabling centralized and dynamic management and configuration of the network devices and flows.
- Network Function Virtualization (NFV), which is a network architecture that replaces dedicated network appliances, such as routers, firewalls, or load balancers, with software-based functions that run on virtual machines or containers.
Virtual networks are widely used in various domains and scenarios, such as:
- Cloud computing, which is the delivery of computing services, such as servers, storage, databases, or applications, over the Internet, using virtual networks to connect and isolate the cloud resources and customers.
- Data centre, which is a facility that houses and operates a large number of servers, storage devices, and network devices, using virtual networks to optimize the performance, availability, and security of the data center network.
- Edge computing, which is the processing of data closer to the source or the user, rather than in a centralized location, uses virtual networks to enable low-latency, high-bandwidth, and reliable communication between the edge devices and the cloud or the data centre.
- Internet of Things (IoT), which is the network of physical objects, such as sensors, cameras, or vehicles, that are embedded with software, hardware, and connectivity, using virtual networks to manage and secure the massive and diverse data and devices of the IoT network.