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A virtualization-aware network (VM-aware network) is a computer network that uses the ability of network switches, which are responsible for providing the initial switching layer, to manage virtual machines (VM). VM-aware networks can give VMs mobility or migration capabilities between networks or different cloud storage providers across the virtual environment. This helps in configuration and migration while taking into consideration potential access and security issues.
In the absence of a VM-aware network, end-users - usually administrators - must configure each VM supporting a VLAN on every port. This can result in lack of awareness of the VMs, unintentional creation of potential threats to security and potential transfer issues within virtualized environments. It also adds to the maintenance workload. The weight of work depends on the size of a data center. In large data centers, especially in equally large enterprises, administrators should opt for the implementation of VM-aware networking. However, having just a few small VLANs does not affect the difficulty, although it is better to implement the network, in the event of data center expansion.
Software providers are becoming more familiar with VM-aware networks and using them to respond to virtualization demands. The response is in the form of creating networks that can achieve VM-awareness through the use of different approaches. Examples of VM-aware networks include Cisco’s Nexus 1000V and BLADE’s VM-ready solutions.