There are a number of emerging and proposed standard protocols focused on optimizing the support that data center Ethernet LANs provide for server virtualization. Several of these protocols are aimed at network virtualization via the creation of multiple virtual Ethernet networks that can share a common physical infrastructure in a manner that is somewhat analogous to multiple virtual machines sharing a common physical server.
Most protocols for network virtualization are based on creating virtual network overlays using techniques based on encapsulation and tunneling. The most commonly discussed protocols include VXLAN, NVGRE, STT, and SPB MAC-in-MAC. SPB is already an IEEE standard, while it is likely that only one of the other proposals will achieve IETF standard status, most likely VXLAN.
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