Physical Networks vs. Overlay Networks

Physical Network

  • physically, there are connections between nodes in a network. The network essentially is the sum of its physical components that connect computers to one another.
    • physical components include: cables, wires, routers, repeaters
    • multiple physical networks can make up one big virtual network.
      • ex. a university spread across many buildings will have many different phsyical networks, though all computers will be able to see and communicate with one another because of the overlayed virtual network that exists on top of the physical one.

Overlay Network

  • the overlay network is created using logic at the software level to determine where the connections between the nodes are.
  • a network may have multiple virtual layers built on top of the backbone physical one.
  • while in a physical network, each node is connected to another through physical means, such as a cable. In an overlay network, nodes are connected to one another using network addresses.
  • overlay networks encapsulate the data before sending it over the network, and unwrapped upon reaching the destination.
  • an overlay network needs to employ a protocol that determines the rules that the hosts of a network must all abide by (IP, VPN, P2P)

UE Resources

Networking tutorials from Flavio Copes

  1. Broadcast
  2. ISP (Internet Service Provider)
  3. Internet
  4. LAN (Local Area Network)
  5. Osi Model
  6. Servers
  7. Socket
  8. Tools
  9. VPN (Virtual Private Network)