Applied to servers or storage, virtualization lets users host dozens or hundreds of server operating system instances, or divide and control the amounts of storage on different disks, both from a few large machines. The technology provides lower operational costs and less complexity, proponents say.

Network vendors say virtualization also can apply to enterprise core and edge routing. For segmenting an enterprise into various subnetworks — with different rules and controls — users can tap into virtual routing features in switches instead of buying and plugging in new chasses or boxes to do this separation.

The concept of virtual networking is nothing new, as virtual LAN technology for years has been a tried and tested way to set up secure, separate LAN segments on a single Ether

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