Virtualization is looking to play a large part in the future of networking. According to a 2020 study conducted by Spiceworks, large enterprises are implementing virtualization technologies at high rates. Most organizations have already adopted some form of virtualization strategy.
Virtualization is a wide-ranging topic with different subsets, such as server virtualization, desktop virtualization and network virtualization. Network pros use virtualization to replace physical network hardware with software. Virtualization simplifies network management, making it an important topic when studying for the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) exams.
"Virtualization commonly refers to simultaneously running multiple operating systems on general- or specific-purpose hardware," wrote Patrick Gargano in his book, 31 Days Before Your CCNP and CCIE Enterprise Core Exam, from Pearson.
With network virtualization, network pros can consolidate multiple physical networks into one or separate one physical network into smaller virtual networks. Virtualization also enables network teams to deploy new network functions. They can more easily make architecture changes in a simulated network than in a physical one. According to Spiceworks, 30% of the 530 IT decision-makers surveyed used network virtualization tools in 2020, especially in large enterprises. Another 14% are planning on implementing tools by 2022.
Enterprises are looking to shift from proprietary hardware to software-based systems. Network functions virtualization is an architecture rising in popularity for accomplishing that shift. Additionally, 5G will likely use virtualization strategies to enhance network performance. Virtualization is shaping up to be an essential piece of networking that aspiring professionals will need to grasp.
Anyone interested in entering the field of networking should understand all its topics, which Gargano outlines in his book. In the chapter "Day 7," Gargano discusses virtualization-related concepts and reviews what will be on the CCNP and CCIE exams.
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Click here to read the chapter "Day 7: Virtualization."