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This paper presents a comparison and analysis of the performance of the various networking capabilities and topologies used to enable a typical server virtualization environment. A fundamental component in the Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) is a software implementation of a traditional network forwarding device (bridges, routers and NAT gateways). The networking implementation within the VMM is fundamentally a piece of network infrastructure equipment just like any other traditional hardware based router or bridge that is part of a larger more complex network. However, traditional hardware based network forwarding devices continue to evolve and incorporate more advanced capabilities such as stateful firewalls, intrusion prevention systems and other deep packet inspection approaches necessary for policy enforcement.
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