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What is a Federated Network?

A federated network is a model of a network in which a number of distinct networks or locations share resources (such as network services and gateways) via the use of a centralized management framework that ensures uniform configuration and rules. It is possible to handle the management, control, and data planes as a single entity even while they are scattered over various networks or locations.

This makes it possible to expedite operations, as an administrator may define rules for the whole federated network rather than apply them to each network individually, providing an environment that is consistent across all of the sites.

When a network fails over, or when a workload is moved between various sites, networking and security rules and compliance may be maintained with the aid of a federated network. This helps facilitate easier disaster recovery.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between federated networks and distributed networks, what a federated multi-cloud is, the benefits and significance of federated networks, and what data centers are.

What is a Federated Network

Figure 1. What is a Federated Network

What is the Main Difference Between Federated Networks and Distributed Networks?

The phrases "federated network" and "distributed network" are commonly used synonymously with one another, despite the fact that there is a significant distinction between the two types of networks.

A federated network is a set of linked networks that not only have the capacity to transfer data and messages between parties but also have the ability to continue operating even when a connection is broken, making it such that all of the networks function as if they were one. However, it is essential to note that networks may be broken down into one of three main groups according to the location and method by which they are structured, and, more precisely, the location of the control over the decision-making process.

  • Centralized Network: A centralized network is essentially a hub-and-spoke architecture that has a centralized structure, decision-making, and a single point of failure.
  • Decentralized Networks: Decentralized networks are those in which no one person or group is in charge of the decision-making process or the flow of information.
  • Distributed Networks: The operations of distributed networks are carried out by a number of distinct parties, while the decision-making and overall control are exercised by a single body.

Federation is an option for both decentralized and distributed networks, which are the latter two kinds of networks. On the other hand, a network that is centralized is unable to do so since, in a crucial sense, "federated" implies "not centralized."

The conventional mobile phone network serves as an excellent illustration of a federated network. When you place a call from your T-Mobile phone to a buddy who has an AT & T phone, the connection is formed in the background, and it is completely invisible to the people on the other end of the conversation. Both parties involved in the call get the impression that they are connected to the same network while the call is taking place.

In conclusion, a federated network is a network that enables many networks (which may be geographically distant) to operate together by applying technologies such as network federation. In contrast, a distributed network is simply any network that spans various geographical locations. A genuine federated network makes use of a centralized management framework to implement consistent rules and provide a standardized environment in order to facilitate the sharing of services across its member networks.

What is Federated Multi-Cloud?

A federated multi-cloud, also known as a cloud federation, is a unified and compatible collection of resources that are stored in the cloud. It describes an environment in which several public clouds or hybrid clouds (private and public clouds) operate together as part of a single environment. In addition, a federation across these clouds enables the different, geographically dispersed environments and architectures to function in a consistent and seamless manner.

There are several advantages to integrating many cloud services in the form of a federation, particularly as the number of infrastructure cloud services that are becoming accessible in the cloud continues to rise. There is a significant need in the business world for automated solutions that can federate cloud network resources and derive the integrated management cloud layer. This would make it possible to deploy resources and services in a manner that is both secure and efficient, despite the fact that they could be located anywhere across multiple distributed infrastructures. Federated cloud networking is required to support the automated deployment of applications across various clouds and data centers. This requirement applies to both large corporations and large cloud providers who are interested in unifying and consolidating multiple data centers or cloud sites. It also applies to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who are building hybrid cloud configurations.

Many different forms of cloud federation have been suggested to offer the essential mechanisms for sharing compute, storage, and networking resources. Some examples of these types are cloud bursting, cloud brokering, and cloud peering. For instance, in hybrid clouds, a private cloud is linked to one or more public clouds so that resources from those clouds may be used for the deployment and operation of virtual machines (VMs).

What are the Advantages of Federated Networks?

The primary benefits of federated networks are summarized below:

1. Visibility

Complete visibility into the data center and cloud environments is made possible by their centralized administration, which eliminates the blind spots and other difficulties that afflict less streamlined designs in which each component has to be controlled independently.

2. Streamlined operations

A federated network is managed by administrators as if it were a single entity, and policies are made for the federated network as a whole, as opposed to being set individually for each network. Because of this, firms are able to simply develop a unified environment while also reducing the amount of IT overhead.

3. Interoperability

A federated network makes it possible for its member networks to share data and services without any interruptions. This is of utmost importance in federated multi-cloud setups because discrepancies across public cloud providers would otherwise create obstacles to seamless interoperability if they were not addressed.

4. Security

Because of the inherent complexity of managing many networks or data centers, security policy administration is prone to human mistakes. This is especially true in larger organizations. IT departments may enhance their security posture and lessen the likelihood of making mistakes by managing many environments under the umbrella of a single federated network.

5. Consistency

Each member network in a federated network functions as an integral component of a single unified whole. This results in a more streamlined and uniform user experience, as well as a simpler network to administer.

Why Federated Networks Are Important?

When it comes to deploying and enforcing networking and security rules across many networks, a federated network delivers the consistency, interoperability, and access restrictions that are necessary. A lack of integration across cloud environments and data centers can create configuration inefficiencies and visibility gaps, which makes the management of networking and security policies time-consuming and prone to errors.

Business pressures are driving the need for application modernization and a faster time to market. Federated networks provide assistance for these business-critical efforts by ensuring the deployment and enforcement of policies in a manner that is both consistent and efficient across many administration domains or across different sites that are contained inside a single administration domain.

What are Federated Data Centers?

Multiple data centers working together to provide the appearance of a single network environment via the use of centralized administration are known as federated data centers. In this design, data centers are allowed to maintain their operational autonomy and may even be located in various physical locations; nonetheless, they are still able to reap the benefits of centralized administration as well as shared resources and regulations.