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Virtual Networking is not Network Virtualization

Edward Haletky of The Virtualization Practice writes:

Recently, I had the opportunity to talk about the shortest path bridging (SPB) protocol with Avaya while at Interop. This conversation was one of many with networking companies. While SPB is a very interesting protocol, my questions were about how deep into the virtual environment the protocol extends. While SPB and other networking protocols are considered by some to be network virtualization, I could not see this within the realm of the virtual network and hence, confusion reigned. Depending on who is talking to whom, the same words can mean many different things. What I found amazing, still, is that most people thinks networking ends at the physical NIC within the virtualization host, and that what is inside, does not matter as much as what is outside.

Edward takes a long look at Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) through the eyes of a virtualization engineer. It’s interesting to see how others perceive the network world, especially now that companies like VMware are opening it to a wider audience.

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About the author

Tom Hollingsworth

Tom Hollingsworth is a networking professional, blogger, and speaker on advanced technology topics. He is also an organizer for networking and wireless for Tech Field Day.  His blog can be found at

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