VXLAN Gaining More Traction for Scalable Cloud Networks

July 27, 2012 - 1 Comment

At Cisco live last month I spent several days talking to a lot of customers about all the new enhancements to our Nexus 1000V portfolio, especially the programmable virtual network overlays that are part of the Cisco ONE framework for SDN/network programmability. While the Nexus 1000V-based virtual networks are really gaining traction (6,000+ Nexus 1000V virtual switch customers to date), I still found a lot of folks weren’t all that familiar with the concept of VXLAN, and why they are so important to building scalable cloud networks and multi-tenant data centers.

Well, not to fear, VXLAN MAN is here! Well, not really, but we have just released a great new fundamentals video on VXLAN from the creative geniuses at Techwise TV (Thanks to @JimmyRay_Purser and @robbboyd!). We’ve gotten great reviews on this so far, and I know the guys really had a fun time in creating this one.

But wait, there’s more… One of the VXLAN-related features that we started talking about at Cisco live is a VXLAN Gateway. Having already watched the above video, I’m sure you’re asking yourself “Gateway to what?”, “Why would you need that?”.

Well, since it wasn’t covered in the video, suffice to say that organizations are going to need a way to connect their virtual workloads and all those VXLAN virtual networks and tunnels to physical servers and applications and the broader WAN outside the virtual data center. The VXLAN Gateway is that portal from the VXLAN-enabled world to the non-VXLAN networks, probably your usual VLAN.

Since we know from the video that VXLAN is a MAC in UDP encapsulation with another 24 bits for the extended VXLAN identifier tag, the VXLAN gateway is resposible for stripping off the UDP encapsulation, translating to the traditional VLAN identifier, terminating the VXLAN tunnel, and thereby enabling connectivity to traditional networks.

As it looks now, we’ll be demonstrating an early version of the VXLAN Gateway at VMworld next month in San Francisco, although we haven’t announced a formal date for customer availability yet. If you still want more information on VXLAN, I suggest you go here, here, and here, if not here. And if you liked the above video, go here and give the Techwise TV guys a thumbs up.

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  1. Another great video resource for VXLAN is the deep(er) dive technical tutorial from the most recent Cisco Live in San Diego, given by a principal engineer from the Nexus 1000V development team, Larry Kreeger:

    To view the video (about 90 mins), you’ll need to register to the Cisco Live 365 site and go from there.