Overlay Network

What Does Overlay Network Mean?

An overlay
network can be thought of as a computer network on top of another network.
All nodes in an overlay network are connected with one another by means of
logical or virtual links and each of these links correspond to a path in the
underlying network.


Techopedia Explains Overlay Network

An example of
an overlay network can be distributed systems such as client-server
applications and peer-to-peer networks. Such applications or networks act as
the overlay networks because all nodes in these applications and networks run
on top of the internet.

The main uses
of overlay networks can be found in the telecom industry because digital
circuit switching equipment and optical fiber are available. In telecom
companies, IP networks and telecommunication transport networks combine to
constitute the internet and can be overlaid with one or more optical fiber
layers, a transport layer and an IP or circuit-switching layers.

Another type
of overlay network is the Resilient Overlay Network. It is an architecture that
allows distributed internet applications to identify and recover from
disruption in connections and interference. The Resilient Overlay Network has a
relatively simple architecture and can be deployed in the form of nodes at
different locations over the internet.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…