Tech moves fast! Stay ahead of the curve with Techopedia!
Join nearly 200,000 subscribers who receive actionable tech insights from Techopedia.
A logical network is a virtual representation of a network that appears to the user as an entirely separate and self-contained network even though it might physically be only a portion of a larger network or a local area network. It might also be an entity that has been created out of multiple separate networks and made to appear as a single network. This is often used in virtual environments where there are physical and virtual networks running together; so, out of convenience and function, separate networks can be made into a single logical network.
A logical network, unlike a physical network, often spans multiple physical devices such as network nodes and networking equipment that are often parts of separate physical networks. Or it can encompass only small sections of a single device. So, for example, a logical network can be made up of elements from separate networks with devices located around the globe as in a global enterprise where the computers of site managers from different countries might be connected as a single logical network in order to foster quick and hassle-free communication even though they are separated by continents. Or in the smallest virtual level, a logical network could be composed of several virtual machines and virtual networking entities, all of which reside in a single physical server. So, if there is a powerful physical server that could house 100 virtual machines and virtual networking equipment, it could theoretically have 10 or more logical networks within that single physical server.
This concept is very important for distributed applications as it binds the distributed components, more or less, as a single group or a single entity. In this way, logical components can be arranged into groups that represent business environments or departments such finance, engineering, human resource or quality assurance, and then those environments are treated as a single logical network even though their physical components might be located in different geographical zones. Obviously, this makes it a pivotal component of cloud computing systems.