Lower Networking vs Upper Networking

Last Updated: 2023-02-15

Lower Networking vs Upper Networking

  • Lower networking:
    • network engineering.
    • includes physical network topology, routing protocols, network device configurations (routers, switches, firewalls, etc.), automation, etc.
    • comprises both underlay (VLAN) and overlay, i.e. VXLAN.
  • Upper networking:
    • software engineering.
    • exists "on top of" the lower network .
    • includes virtual machine and container networking, kubernetes networking, service mesh, load balancing, DNS, etc.

Underlay vs Overlay

Both are part of "Lower Networking".

  • Underlay: physical network.
  • Overlay: virtual network on top of physical network (i.e. underlay).
    • EVPN: control plane.
    • vxlan: tunnel technology.
    • EVPN and vxlan go hand in hand.