Free ebook: Microsoft System Center Building a Virtualized Network Solution, Second Edition

Microsoft System Center Building a Virtualized Network Solution, Second EditionWe’re happy to announce the release of our newest free ebook, Microsoft System Center Building a Virtualized Network Solution, Second Edition (ISBN 9780735695801), by Nigel Cain, Michel Luescher, Damian Flynn, and Alvin Morales; Series Editor: Mitch Tulloch.

Download all formats (PDF, Mobi and ePub) at the Microsoft Virtual Academy .

Below you’ll find a few helpful sections from the Introduction. Enjoy!


According to the Hyper-V Network Virtualization overview at, Network Virtualization “provides virtual networks to virtual machines similar to how server virtualization provides virtual machines to the operating system. Network Virtualization decouples virtual networks from the physical network infrastructure and removes the constraints and limitations of VLANs and hierarchical IP address assignment from virtual machine provisioning. This flexibility makes it easy for customers to move to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds and efficient for hosters and datacenter administrators to manage their infrastructure while maintaining the necessary multi-tenant isolation, security requirements, and supporting overlapping Virtual Machine IP addresses.”

Although the benefits of this approach are very clear, designing and implementing a solution that delivers the promised benefits is both complex and challenging; architects, consultants, and fabric administrators alike often struggle to understand the different features and concepts that make up a solution.

Who should read this book?

Much of the current published material covering Network Virtualization is focused on the how, the set of tasks and things that you need to do (either in the console or through Windows PowerShell) to set up and configure the environment. In this book, we take a different approach and instead consider the what, with a view to helping private and hybrid cloud architects understand the overall architecture, the role each individual feature plays, and the key decision points, design considerations, and best practice recommendations they should adopt as they begin to design and build out a virtualized network solution using Windows Server and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

In summary, this book is specifically designed for architects and cloud fabric administrators who want to understand what decisions they need to make during the design process and the implications of those decisions, what constitutes best practice, and, ultimately, what they need to do to build out a virtualized network solution that meets today's business requirements while also providing a platform for future growth and expansion.

New to this second edition are chapters covering the Hyper-V Network Virtualization gateway, designing a solution that extends an on-premises virtualized network solution to an external (hosted) environment, details of how to troubleshoot and diagnose some of the key connectivity challenges, and a look at the Cloud Platform System (CPS) and some of the key considerations that went into designing and building the network architecture and solution for that environment.

In writing this book, we assume that, as architects and fabric administrators interested in Microsoft Network Virtualization, you are familiar with and have a good understanding of the networking features and capabilities of Windows Server, Hyper-V, and Virtual Machine Manager, as well as the Microsoft Cloud OS vision available at

What topics are included in this book?

The vast majority of the book is focused on architecture and design, highlighting key design decisions and providing best practice advice and guidance relating to each major feature of the solution.

  • Chapter 1: Key concepts A virtualized network solution built on Windows Server and System Center depends on a number of different features. This chapter outlines the role each of these features plays in the overall solution and how they are interconnected.
  • Chapter 2: Logical networks This chapter provides an overview of the key considerations, outlines some best practice guidance, and describes a process for identifying the set of logical networks that are needed in your environment.
  • Chapter 3: Hyper-V port profiles This chapter discusses the different types of port profiles that are used in Virtual Machine Manager, outlines why you need them and what they are used for, and provides detailed guidance on how and when to create them.
  • Chapter 4: Logical switches This chapter describes the function and purpose of logical switches, which are essentially templates that allow you to consistently apply the same settings and configuration across multiple hosts.
  • Chapter 5: Network Virtualization gateway This chapter outlines key design choices and considerations for providing cross-premises connectivity from networks at tenant sites to virtual networks dedicated (per tenant) in a service provider network.
  • Chapter 6: Deployment This chapter builds on the material discussed in previous chapters and walks through common deployment scenarios, highlighting known issues (and workarounds) relating to the deployment and use of logical switches in your environment.
  • Chapter 7: Operations Even after having carefully planned a virtual network solution, things outside of your immediate control might force changes to your virtualized network solution. This chapter walks you through some relatively common scenarios and provides recommendations, advice, and guidance for how best to deal with them.
  • Chapter 8: Diagnosing Connectivity Issues This chapter looks at how to approach a connectivity problem with a virtualized network solution, the process you should follow to troubleshoot the problem, and some actions you can take to remediate the issue and restore service.
  • Chapter 9: Cloud Platform System network architecture This chapter reviews the design and key decision points for the network architecture and virtualized network solution within the Microsoft Cloud Platform System.

To recap, this book is mainly focused on architecture and design (what is needed to design a virtualized network solution) rather than on the actual steps required to deploy it in your environment. Other than in few chapters, you will find few examples of code. This is by design. Our focus here is not to provide details of how you achieve a specific goal but rather on what you need to do to build out a solution that meets the needs of your business and provides a platform for the future.

When you have designed a solution using the guidelines documented in this book, you will be able to make effective use of some of the excellent materials and examples available in the Building Clouds blog ( to assist you with both solution deployment and ongoing management.


The authors would like to thank, once again, our original reviewers Stanislav Zhelyazkov (MVP), Hans Vredevoort (MVP), and Phillip Moss (NTTX) as well as Greg Cusanza, Thomas Roettinger, Artem Pronichkin, and Cristian Edwards Sabathe from Microsoft for providing valuable feedback and suggestions on the content of the book. We would also like to thank and show our appreciation to Nader Benmessaoud, Robert Davidson, Ricardo Machado, Kath McBride, and Larry Zhang (all from Microsoft) for their review, feedback, and comments specific to this second edition. Without their contributions, this book would not be as thorough nor as complete as you find it, so our thanks once again for their time and efforts in making this happen.