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Increasing Your Mobility Diameter Can Reduce Costs and Increase Data Center Flexibility

August 6, 2012 - 0 Comments

Continuing on our theme of virtual network overlays and programmable networks, today we’ll look at how to increase workload mobility over more data center and cloud resources. If server virtualization increases resource utilization and reduces costs, and data center consolidation is a good thing, then it follows that the larger the resource pool that your virtual workloads can migrate over, the more cost effective your IT operation can be. And if your mobility diameter spans multiple sites, you can obviously improve your fault tolerance as well. We call this increasing your mobility diameter, and we’ll complement what we’ve already learned about VXLAN and virtual overlays with some new technologies to seamlessly scale your diameter up. (Sounds like some sort of bizarre reverse Weight Watchers program, doesn’t it?).

As we noted in our VXLAN overview, VXLANs enable private virtual overlays over layer 3 boundaries via their MAC in UDP encapsulation and the cool way they filter MAC address broadcasts to only the right subnets. However, when you are doing full on application migration over a layer 3 boundary, VXLAN alone isn’t going to do it alone. In order to extend virtual workload mobility beyond layer 2 boundaries, Cisco came up with Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) that can work in conjunction with VXLAN to extend application mobility to any point the VXLAN virtual overlay can reach. And not surprisingly, the media wizards over at TechWise TV have a great video that takes all the complexity of OTV and makes it cartoonishly simple.

But wait, there’s more… Another Cisco blog post from before Cisco live! provided some insight into how VCE, EMC and Cisco worked together on a VM mobility demo for Cisco live, EMC world, etc. The demo was run across all three vendor booths and simulated a live vMotion across all three data centers. Note that they didn’t have more than 4096 VLAN segments what would have actually required the use of VXLAN, so that was not included in this particular demo:

VCE demo

If you want to go into a bit more technical detail on VXLAN and OTV, I highly recommend this 50 minute video from April where Cisco Nexus 1000V product manager, Han Yang, presents at one of virtual technical symposiums which was podcasted live from one of our customer technology demo labs:

And with that, I think I’ll end the lesson here and work on figuring out how I can migrate some of my own personal workloads off to some other resources.

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