Chapter 5 Understanding Networks

Networking is a very broad concept with many different interpretations. Data center administrators typically have their own idea about what the best network configuration is in terms of performance, security and cost-effectiveness. In some cases physical network connections are readily available so bonding or data link aggregation is preferred for fail over or higher bandwidth, while other configurations use VLANs for network segregation or to compensate for the lack of free NICs. Some will use Ethernet connections for storage while others have dedicated fibre channel hardware at their disposal.

Generally speaking, data center operators tend to think essentially in terms of hardware: switches, routers, firewalls, cables, NICs (Network Interface Cards), and so on. The only widespread network virtualization concept to date is VLAN (Virtual LAN) technology. VLANs are also very frequently used in Oracle VM networking.

The networking infrastructure in the Oracle VM environment comprises connections between various components:

  • Between Oracle VM Servers themselves.

  • Between Oracle VM Servers and Oracle VM Manager.

  • Between Oracle VM Servers and their storage sub-systems.

  • Between virtual machines deployed in the environment.

  • Between virtual machines and external private or public networks.

These networking connections can leverage features supported by Oracle VM, such as networked file systems, clustering, redundancy and load balancing, bridging, and support for Virtual LANs (VLANs).

This chapter discusses common networking concepts used within Oracle VM and provides an overview of how and where different networking technology is used. A brief overview of some of these networking concepts is provided in Section 2.6.2, “Networking”.

For quick reference to some of the networking terminology used, refer to Section 5.1, “Networking Terminology”.

For a more thorough overview of how networks are used in Oracle VM, see Section 5.2, “How are Networks Used in Oracle VM?”.

Networking technologies such as data link aggregation or bonding are discussed in Section 5.4, “How is Network Bonding Used in Oracle VM?”, while VLANs are discussed in Section 5.5, “How are VLANs Used in Oracle VM?”.

The way in which network traffic specific to Oracle VM is assigned to different networks is described in detail in Section 5.6, “How are Network Functions Separated in Oracle VM?”.

This chapter also provides some network preparation guidelines in Section 5.7, “Network Planning for an Oracle VM Deployment”.

You may also want to review additional Oracle VM 3 Networking white papers available on OTN at: