The increasing popularity of Cloud Computing is leading to the emergence of large virtualized data centers hosting increasingly complex and dynamic IT systems and services. Over the past decade, the efficient sharing of computational resources through virtualization has been subject to intensive research, while network management in cloud data centers has received less attention. A variety of network-intensive applications require QoS (Quality-of-Service) provisioning, performance isolation and support for flexible and efficient migration of virtual machines. In this paper, we survey existing network virtualization approaches and evaluate the extent to which they can be used as a basis for realizing the mentioned requirements in a cloud data center. More specifically, we identify generic network virtualization techniques, characterize them according to their features related to QoS management and performance isolation, and show how they can be composed together and used as building blocks for complex network virtualization solutions. We then present an overview of selected representative cloud platforms and show how they leverage the generic techniques as a basis for network resource management. Finally, we outline open issues and research challenges in the area of performance modeling and proactive resource management of virtualized data center infrastructures.
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