VXLAN Technical Deep Dive
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VXLAN was the first MAC-over-IP overlay virtual networking technology that could be used to implement large-scale layer-2 multi-tenant virtual networking solutions within the VMware’s vSphere ecosystem.
Since its introduction in 2011 various VXLAN implementations introduced scalable control plane, hardware gateways, and standardized scale-out architectures based on BGP MPLS Ethernet VPN (EVPN).
Version 2.0 of VXLAN Technical Deep Dive webinar (launched on October 22nd) describes:
- The basics of VXLAN technology;
- VXLAN integration with the layer-3 data center network core;
- Benefits and drawbacks of VXLAN versus its competitors (NVGRE and STT);
- VXLAN implementations in hypervisors switches;
- Integration with vCloud Director;
- Large-scale VXLAN solutions, including unicast mode VXLAN and EVPN-based scale-out architectures;
- Hardware VXLAN gateways and VLAN-to-VXLAN integration options;
- Use of VXLAN in data center fabrics (Arista, Cisco ACI) and OpenStack Quantum.
The webinar covers the following topics:
- The overview of VXLAN technology;
- Multicast-based VXLAN and its hypervisor-based implementations;
- Proprietary VXLAN control plane solutions;
- Standard scale-out VXLAN-based architectures using OVSDB and EVPN;
- VXLAN gateways and their integration with VXLAN controllers;
- VXLAN as transport method in data center fabrics.
VXLAN Technology Overview
This section describes the VXLAN architectural model, packet formats and forwarding principles, including the use of IP multicast to emulate layer-2 flooding.
The design guidelines presented in this section will help you integrate VXLAN-based virtual networking solutions with large-scale IP-based data center networks.
Initial VXLAN implementations used IP multicast to establish MAC-to-VTEP mappings in hypervisor virtual switches. This section describes the technical details of multicast-based VXLAN and two hypervisor-based implementations: Cisco’s Nexus 1000V and native vSphere 5.1 implementation included in vCloud Networking and Security (vCNS) group of products.
Proprietary VXLAN Control PLanes
Virtualization vendors quickly realized that they cannot sell a solution that depends so heavily on IP multicast, and started implementing proprietary control-plane solutions that replaced multicast-based flooding with hypervisor-based packet replication, and dynamic MAC learning with control-plane information gathering.
This section describes three typical proprietary control-plane architectures: Cisco Nexus 1000V, VMware NSX for Multiple Hypervisors and VMware NSX for vSphere.
Standardized Scale-Out VXLAN Solutions
This section describes EVPN-based approaches that allow network designers to build scale-out VXLAN-based architectures. The implementations mentioned in this section include Cisco Nexus 1000V, Nuage VSP and Juniper Contrail.
VXLAN segments are completely isolated from the rest of the network. You need gateway functionality if you want to link a VXLAN segment with a traditional VLAN or insert network services (routing, firewalling or load balancing) between a VXLAN segment and the rest of the network.
This section lists most common gateway solutions, from VM-based products (example: vShield Edge or vASA) to hardware gateways (Arista 7150, Cisco Nexus 9300, Brocade VDX 6740), and describes various design scenarios that you can use to implement large-scale multi-tenant private- or public cloud solutions.
VXLAN Use in Data Center Fabrics
One could use Arista’s VXLAN implementation to build large-scale layer-2 data center fabrics. VXLAN is also a fundamental building block of Cisco’s ACI architecture. This section will describe the approaches network hardware vendors use to build overlay data center fabrics with their hardware VXLAN gateways.
If part of your daily job includes VMware network connectivity, OpenStack or IaaS infrastructure, be it on the server or networking side, you simply have to attend this webinar, regardless of whether you’re a network architect, network designer, or an implementation guru.
This webinar assumes familiarity with virtual networking concepts and VMware networking solutions, and basic understanding of IP routing and IP multicast. Watching Cloud Networking and Overlay Virtual Networking before attending this webinar will also help you better understand the technical details.
Ivan Pepelnjak (CCIE#1354 Emeritus) has been designing, deploying, operating and troubleshooting IP-based enterprise and service provider networks since 1990. He’s the author of EIGRP and MPLS books published by Cisco Press, numerous articles and highly praised webinars, including Data Center 3.0 for Networking Engineers, VMware Networking Deep Dive and Cloud Computing Networking.
Feedback from the attendees
- Very good webinar yesterday morning reviewing the current state of VXLAN - what it is, how it's configured, design considerations, limitations. Worth reviewing if you missed it. +Ivan Pepelnjak did a great job. +Mark Berly helped.
- Anne Johnson
- Ahh, wife is away so I can do anything I want! So let the VXLAN Technical Deep Dive by @ioshints and @markberly begin!
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