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LISP – Finding the Optimized Path for your Workload

January 6, 2012 - 0 Comments

Update: LISP solves the problem from client to server, IE Ingress Path Optimization.  FHRP solves the problem from server to client, IE Egress Path Optimization.  You can check out Egress Path Optimization here.

We recently published a Data Center Interconnect – DCI-  related document on and I wanted to get it in front of you.  Locator/Identifier Separator Protoc0l – LISP – provides the path optimization technology to forward transactions via the most direct path, ultimately meaning better application performance. The link for the LISP Virtual Machine Mobility paper is below.

As a side note, LISP can be used many other ways and here’s a pointer to one of  our LISP pages.

For our purposes in DCI, we use LISP for path optimization and we can see here why the  need arises. The box on the left shows an existing transaction that looks pretty direct.  The middle box shows the workload is now in a new data center but the transaction is suboptimal, it still goes through the firsts data center.  The box on the right shows the desired path, the direct path from user to workload withouth going through the first data center.  It’s pretty easy to see the need here for path optimization and the desire to have the direct path to the new data center location as shown on the far right box.

LISP provides dynamic tunnel encapsulation between the two locations and this allows the ability to direct traffic to the desired location.  Let’s look at another set of pictures.

On the left we see a LISP session from the client to data center Alpha. On the right we see a LISP session from the client to data center Beta. The LISP session redirects to data center Beta *automatically* so this is all transparent and without operational intervention.  Pretty cool! The details of this are in the link below.

In our workload mobility environment, there are two LISP “modes” to think about.  LISP ASM refers to “Across Subnet Mode” and that’s where you have a Layer 3 network between the two data centers.  Clearly, this is pretty common 🙂 and  LISP ASM can be used in cases where you spin-up, instantiate, a new workload in the new data center, as part of a  Disaster Recovery plan and strategy, or for non-live workload mobility requirements.

LISP ESM refers to “Extended Subnet Mode” and refers to when you have a Layer 2 extension between data centers.  Layer 2 extensions includes technologies like VPLS, OTV, FabricPaht/Trill, etc and enables live workoad mobility between data centers, among others.

Here’s the link to the LISP Virtual Machine Mobility Solution.  Enjoy !

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