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Overlay network

Overlay network

Overlay network definition

Overlay network refers to a computer network that is built on top of an existing network infrastructure. It is typically used to provide additional functionality or services that are not provided by the underlying network. An overlay network can be used in distributed computing environments, such as cloud computing and peer-to-peer (P2P) networks.

See also: network infrastructure, network security protocols, VPN gateway

Examples of overlay network:

  • Virtual Private Network (VPN). A VPN is an overlay network that provides a secure connection between remote users and an organization’s internal network. VPNs are commonly used to allow employees to work from remote locations while still maintaining secure access to company resources.
  • Content Delivery Network (CDN). It is used to distribute content, such as web pages and media files. To improve performance and reduce latency, CDNs typically use a distributed network of servers.
  • Software-defined network (SDN). It is often used in data centers to help manage network traffic and configuration through software.
  • Peer-to-peer network (P2P). Used for file sharing and content distribution, P2P networks allows users to share resources directly with each other, without the need for a central server.
  • Overlay networks in cloud computing. Virtual networks can be created to isolate different customer workloads from each other, or to provide connectivity between different cloud services.

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