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Integrating VXLAN with Avaya VENA Fabric Connect
Integrating VXLAN with Avaya VENA Fabric Connect
Integrating VXLAN with Avaya VENA Fabric Connect
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Integrating VXLAN with Avaya VENA Fabric Connect

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Avaya is actively supporting the VXLAN initiative, and we are working closely with VMware to leverage the technology that underpins Fabric Connect to provide a very simplified and truly scalable …

Avaya is actively supporting the VXLAN initiative, and we are working closely with VMware to leverage the technology that underpins Fabric Connect to provide a very simplified and truly scalable evolution path to VXLAN, avoiding the PIM Multicast Routing required as defined in the IETF draft. Furthermore, our solution has the advantage of providing interworking between VXLAN domains and traditional VLAN domains. Enabling operators to deploy hybrid environments without the need for specialized hardware.

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  • 1. VXLAN, VMware’s attempt at creating a next-generation VLAN technology, is intended to help businesses maximize the effectiveness of their server virtualization activities. Officially, “Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) works by creating Layer 2 logical networks that are encapsulated in standard Layer 3 IP packets. A ‘Segment ID’ in every frame differentiates the VXLAN logical networks from each other without any need for VLAN tags. This allows very large numbers of isolated Layer 2 VXLAN networks to co-exist on a common Layer 3 infrastructure.” 1 The intent is to build virtual domains on top of a common networking and virtualization infrastructure, with these virtual domains having complete isolation from each other and the underlying network. This is the theory anyway. However, the initial VXLAN specification was based on some rather conventional networking concepts, and did not make allowance for groundbreaking work that had already been undertaken within the IEEE in defining Shortest Path Bridging (SPB). Both technologies aim for service abstraction, both are based on a 24-bit ‘Service ID’, however, whereas SPB revolutionizes networking with a streamlined, simplified approach, VXLAN is largely stuck in the old world, planned around traditional combinations of Spanning Tree, IP Routing, and IP Multicast. Avaya Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture (VENA) Fabric Connect is based on the IEEE’s Shortest Path Bridging standard, and because of the shared elements, we can integrate support much more effectively than any other technology solution. We can also optimize VXLAN in exactly the same way that we optimize normal IP Multicast. Avaya is actively supporting the VXLAN initiative, and we are working closely with VMware to leverage the technology that underpins Fabric Connect to provide a very simplified and truly scalable evolution path to VXLAN, avoiding the PIM Multicast Routing required as defined in the IETF draft. Furthermore, our solution has the advantage avaya.com | 1 Integrating VXLAN with Avaya VENA Fabric Connect Delivering game-changing productivity, agility, and dependability 1 VMware Inc. – ‘VXLAN – Solving the Datacenter Network Challenge’
  • 2. avaya.com | 2 of providing interworking between VXLAN domains and traditional VLAN domains. Enabling operators to deploy hybrid environments without the need for specialized hardware. The carrier-class heritage behind Avaya Fabric Connect enables us to uniquely solve the VXLAN deployment and scalability challenge within a dynamic data center environment, and this will deliver significant scaling, simplification, and performance improvements compared to native, unimproved VXLAN. As we further develop our interworking with VXLAN, the relationship between VXLAN and our SPB-based Fabric Connect will transition from overlay/ foundation to that of direct peers, specifically at the services level. For example, one of the design limitations facing early VXLAN adoption is the constraint where the same VMware vCenter instance cannot network VXLAN and non-VXLAN (i.e. traditional VLAN) Virtual Machines (VMs) together; that is, like VXLAN VMs can be connected, and like non-VXLAN VMs can be connected, but these two environments cannot be mixed. This is particularly relevant when considering dispersed data centers, and Private/Public Cloud environments – where hybrid connectivity, though highly desirable, even compulsory, would otherwise not be possible. Leveraging the lightweight configuration and edge- only provisioning paradigm offered by Fabric Connect, VXLAN instances will be mapped directly to Virtual Service Networks on Fabric Connect providing a much needed, real-world hybrid solution. Operating and interworking VXLAN within a Fabric Connect environment delivers two significant benefits: service control and orchestration occurs at hardware-assisted speeds, and the delivery of VXLAN functionality without the need for Layer 3 configuration. Crucially, the later solves the otherwise burdensome architectural issue of constantly going beyond the Top-of-Rack tier in order to access Layer 3 services (these being typically deployed in the Core of the data center). Integrating VXLAN with the SPB used by Fabric Connect means that multi-phase application flows can be fully optimized and easily scaled, all within Avaya’s high performance Distributed Top-of-Rack. Avaya Virtualization Provisioning Service (VPS) also plays a key role by streamlining the orchestration of services, and interfaces directly with vCenter to manage the interworking of dedicated VXLAN, dedicated non-VXLAN (i.e. VLAN-based), and hybrid VXLAN/non-VXLAN connectivity. As we further develop our interworking with VXLAN, the relationship between VXLAN and our SPB- based Fabric Connect will transition from overlay/foundation to that of direct peers, specifically at the services level.
  • 3. avaya.com | 3 VMware’s VXLAN and Avaya’s SPB-based Fabric Connect are not in conflict. They are complementary; with overlapping capabilities, so that when used together they can help businesses build agile, scalable environments that enhance the total value proposition of highly virtualized next-generation infrastructures, combining fully orchestrated computing and networking. This might include connecting dispersed Fabric Connect environments over an IP core, it might be the seamless migration of VMs in and between Fabric Connect environments, or it might be interworking a Fabric Connect Private Cloud environment with the Public Cloud based on VXLAN. © 2012 Avaya Inc. All Rights Reserved. All trademarks identified by ®, ™, or SM are registered marks, trademarks, and service marks, respectively, of Avaya Inc. 08/12 • DN7131 avaya.com | 3 About Avaya Avaya is a global provider of business collaboration and communications solutions, providing unified communications, contact centers, networking and related services to companies of all sizes around the world. For more information please visit www.avaya.com.

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