VXLAN is widely used for cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, etc, especially making a great contribution to the network system for building data centers. Now it is well known as VXLAN Cisco and also can be operated by Linux VXLAN system. Along with the implementation of server virtualization, the traditional Layer 2 and 3 network architecture limits the scope of dynamic migration of the virtual device, and the application range is greatly restricted. Besides, the number of users is also proliferating, which drives a more need for segmentation strategies to separate a large number of users. So, VXLAN is on the stage for the data center.
What is VXLAN？
VXLAN (Virtual Extensible Local Area Network) is a network protocol that creates the extension of virtual networks beyond the VLAN cap limits of the data center network. VXLAN tunneling technology creates virtual tunnels for Layer 2 (L2) connection over the underlying Layer 3 (L3) network, enabling large-scale dynamic VM migration and allowing greater virtual isolation for a large number of tenants. In Brief, VXLAN explained as a virtual overlay network.
How does the VXLAN network work?
It works by encapsulating Layer 2 Ethernet frames within Layer 3 UDP packets, then creating a virtual tunnel that can traverse the physical network infrastructure. There are two advantages to VXLAN, one of the primary advantages of VXLAN is its ability to provide network segmentation and isolation for virtualized workloads and enable sever larger users, and another key advantage of VXLAN is its ability to provide virtual machine mobility, which greatly improved the security and flexibility over traditional data center network.
VXLAN vs VLAN
VXLAN is an extension of VLAN, meaning that the VXLAN supports stronger network isolation techniques than VLAN. Traditional VLAN technology can only provide 4096 VLANs to meet the needs of Layer 2 networks, and virtual migration is not possible. However, the advanced VXLAN technology solves the drawbacks of traditional VLANs by VXLAN creates a virtual tunnel between the two switches and virtualizing the network as a larger Layer 2 switch, which can provide up to 16 kVLANs to cater to a larger number of the tenant. Nowadays, VXLAN technology gradually replaces VLAN, which means VXLANs vs VLANs, enterprises prefer VXLAN for flexible and secure solutions.
What Problem Does VXLAN Solve?
Extend 4K to 16M VLANs
VXLAN vs VLAN, the growth of virtualization (virtual machines and containers) has resulted in thousands of servers in a data center needing to communicate, and traditional VLAN technology can only support a network cap of 4096, which no longer meet the demand for the advanced expanding data center system, however, VXLAN network allows address space up to 16M VNIs more than the 4K offered by traditional VLANs.
Create Virtual Migration of Layer 2 Networks
VXLAN is designed to solve the scalability limitations of traditional Layer 2 networks by encapsulating Layer 2 traffic within Layer 3 packets, and transmitting the packet over a Layer 3 network. By extending a virtual overlay network, VXLAN supports the migration of virtual machines across physical servers without changing the network settings, providing greater flexibility and security in network management.
Support Network Segmentation of Large Numbers of Tenants
Nowadays, more data centers (especially public cloud services) are strongly equipped with multi-tenancy capabilities of the independent assignment of IP and MAC addresses between different tenants. VXLAN meets this requirement by providing network segmentation access for large numbers of tenants.
How VXLAN Service for Data Center Network?
If you’re considering refreshing your data center’s network and looking for modern data network solutions that will also double throughput and speed, then you should attach great importance and learn more about VXLAN.
As shown in the figure below, Leaf1 is used as VTEPs of VXLAN networks, and VXLAN Layer 3 gateways are deployed on Leaf1 and Leaf2. VXLAN tunnels are dynamically established between the two VXLAN Layer 3 gateways through BGP, and the host routing information under this gateway is published to other BGP neighbors through the remote-next-hop attribute of BGP, thus realizing mutual communication between VMs of different departments across Leaf nodes.
EVPN VXLAN Overview
Ethernet VPN-Ethernet Virtual Extensible LAN (EVPN-VXLAN) is a scalable and open network fabric, that extends layer 2 connectivity as a network overlay over an existing physical network. A VXLAN tunnel endpoint (VTEP) is a VXLAN-capable device that encapsulates and de-encapsulates packets.
Data Center Extension Capability
VXLAN attached to EVPN (Ethernet Virtual Private Network), allows data center extension beyond its present location to a second data center clear across the country. What’s more, VXLAN with EVPN is also beneficial to the same network across multiple data centers with a single overlay, which simplifies the management through makes many different appliances behave as one.
Great Portability and Flexibility
Once VXLAN gets to the access layer, it makes everything super-fast with network outages becoming a thing of the past, VXLAN help to eliminate network outages to ensure your servers keep running and accomplish data center network reliability.
VXLAN’s template-based configuration obviously ensures that you’ll dramatically reduce the chance of making a costly mistake. You can also test any VXLAN changes in a virtual lab before they go live. Compared with traditional VLAN, it achieves fast-speed delivery with very few negligible errors.
S5600&S7600 Series Data Center Switches Characteristics
The S5600 series and S7600 Series layer 3 switches feature high performance, reliability, and capacity, suitable for high-end enterprise and data centers by supporting VXLAN, EVPN, and MLAG functions.
Convenient and Easy Management
TheS5600 Series and S7600 Series data center switches are equipped with various management ports, including Console ports, web-based management ports, and USB ports, enabling various management and maintenance methods, such as SNMPv1/v2/v3 and CLI (Command Line Interface). S7600 supports SSH2.0, NTP, RMON, Ethernet point-to-point OAM, etc. ensuring stable and easy management.
Mature IPv6 Technology
The S5600 Series and S7600 Series support IPv4/IPv6 dual stack and IPv6 over IPv4 TUNNEL, which means S7600 switches can be deployed on IPv4 networks, IPv6 networks, or shared IPv4/IPv6 networks, ensuring a smooth transition from IPv4 to IPv6. S7600 Series also supports multiple IPv6 routing protocols including IPv6 RIPng and OSFPv3. NDP (Neighbor Discovery Protocol), and PMTU (Path MTU Discovery) features are also available, managing packets exchanged between neighbors and improving network resource utilization between the source and destination hosts.
Support Data Center VXLAN
The S5600 series and S7600 Series support Layer 2/Layer 3 VXLAN gateway, BGP, and EVPN functions, enabling establishing a virtual tunnel between two switches across the basic IP network, and virtualizing the data center network into a large Layer 2 virtual switch, meeting the requirements of large-scale migration of virtual switches.
The VXLAN protocol creates flexibility and scalability in virtual networks, allowing data center networks to scale on demand and be flexibly distributed like compute and storage resources. Like all technologies in computing, this is a tradeoff. The traditional network model has been served for a long time, and all the deployment, monitoring, operation, and maintenance are relatively mature. Integrating VXLAN technology into the network will involve a learning curve, however, the investment of time and effort will undoubtedly lead to a significant boost in performance and efficiency.