One of the ongoing challenges for our customers is finding ways to easily interconnect their data centers. Traditional drivers for this have been business continuance and the desire to load balance and make better use of underutilized resources. While these continue to be important, because of the spread of server virtualization, we also see emerging drivers around supporting inter-data center workload mobility and cloud import/export of workloads.
At this point, you may be thinking “Omar, there are already ways to do this, some even offered by Cisco--some you have have blogged about!” Yes, dear reader, its true, but with the release of a new NX-OS feature called Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) on our Nexus 7000, we expect to make connection your data centers simpler while at the same time, making those connections more intelligent and better suited to the emerging demands on a data center interconnect solutions.
The cool, unique thing about our OTV solution is that it works with your existing transport. Essentially, OTV provides Ethernet LAN extension and “MAC routing” on top of the existing layer 3 (i.e. IP) infrastructure. Here is a quick (~ 3 min) video that goes over the basics of the OTV solution.
A couple of other quick notes. Beyond providing simple connectivity, OTV provides greater intelligence with features like optimal multicast replication, automated multi-pathing and failure isolation. Also, while OTV is currently a Nexus 7000 specific feature, we will make it available on other platforms and submit the technology to the standards bodies.
That’s it for this post--next post, I’ll dig into some of the details behind OTV.