by William Higgins, Director, Pre-Sales Engineering, VectorUSA

William Higgins, Director, Pre-Sales Engineering, VectorUSA

If you’re considering refreshing your data center’s network and looking for data network solutions that will also double throughput and speed, then you should take a close look at VXLAN.

Surprisingly, VXLAN (virtual extensible LAN) isn’t a new concept. VXLAN’s been around since the early 1950s when it was originally developed for the telecommunications industry. Thanks to recent technological advances though, VXLAN now works extremely well in the networking arena. VXLAN is a vast improvement over network engineering’s traditional blocking architecture and its inherent limitations.

“VXLAN is a vast improvement over network engineering’s traditional blocking architecture and its inherent limitations.”

– William Higgins, Director, Pre-Sales Engineering, VectorUSA

VLAN relies on spanning tree protocol on the back end to manage multiple network connections. And VLAN’s blocking architecture means that if there are two paths to the same location, a traditional network will only allow a packet to take one of those paths. If something irregular happens, it creates a second path that isn’t blocked, thus creating an infinite spanning tree loop that can eventually take down a network.

This represents the most common type of network outage, also known as a “broadcast storm.” VXLAN however, has the potential to make network outages obsolete.

Many appliances become one

In contrast, VXLAN uses non-blocking architecture. It runs an overlay network on existing Layer 3 infrastructure to support elastic compute architectures. VXLAN essentially encapsulates everything and treats it like it’s Layer 3. This is accomplished by virtualizing the core and distribution switch network into a single switch so that many different appliances behave as one.

For example, if your network contains 50 switches, VXLAN applies an overlay so that every switch shares the same virtual MAC address. As a result, VXLAN ensures a much faster and more efficient network.

Why VXLAN for your data center network fresh?

Following are a few additional reasons why VXLAN is the right solution for your data center’s network refresh:

Template-based configuration

VXLAN is quite simple due to its template-based configuration. Since those same 50 switches in your network all share the same configuration, once you change one, you’ve changed them all. That, in turn, reduces administrative overhead because you only have to make a change once instead of 50 times.

Avoid costly mistakes

VXLAN’s template-based configuration ensures that you’ll dramatically reduce the chance of making a costly mistake. You can also test any VXLAN changes in a virtual lab before they go live.

Data center extension capability

VXLAN, combined with EVPN (Ethernet virtual private network), allows you to extend your data center network beyond its present location to a second data center clear across the country. VXLAN with EVPN even allows you to extend the same network across multiple data centers with a single overlay which makes them behave as one.

Portability and flexibility

According to VMware®, VMotion™ “enables the live migration of running virtual machines from one physical server to another with zero downtime, continuous service availability, and complete transaction integrity. VMotion is a key enabling technology for creating the dynamic, automated, and self-optimizing data center.”

Without ESXi hosting servers being on the same subnet and sharing the same storage, tricking them into thinking they’re right next door to each other has been challenging. VXLAN with EVPN provides MAC mobility across datacenters which is required to migrate live virtual machines from one datacenter to another.

Network outages “virtually” eliminated

Due its growing popularity, VectorUSA fully expects that VXLAN will become the standard protocol that replaces spanning tree for most data centers. Once VXLAN gets to the access layer, it makes everything super-fast with network outages becoming a thing of the past. In fact, you could unplug a switch and never know the difference.

“Due to its growing popularity, VectorUSA expects that VXLAN will become the standard protocol that replaces spanning tree for most data centers.”

– William Higgins, Director, Pre-Sales Engineering, VectorUSA

Consider network security, for instance. It’s not only time consuming, costly and requires never-ending attention, it’s also highly necessary in today’s environment. Leveraging technology with an autonomous solution like VXLAN will:

  • Simplify and reduce administrative overhead while increasing efficiency overall;
  • Help to eliminate network outages to ensure your servers keep running;
  • Allow you to maintain focus on your vital security concerns.

Consistency

VXLAN cannot only expand from data center to data center but to cloud providers as well. That includes two and even three cloud providers at the same time. Key here is that VXLAN ensures a consistent network topology across the board no matter where your equipment is or what cloud provider you’re using.

Focusing on the benefits, not complexity

At VectorUSA, we architect a variety of VXLAN-based data network solutions, including deployment, configuration, and administration. We also work hard to determine what’s beneficial for each client without overcomplicating the network, making it impossible to manage.

With a minimal investment, you can double the throughput and speed as well as increase the reliability of your network using VXLAN instead of traditional spanning tree protocol architecture. You simply won’t be able to optimize your network any faster or leverage your investment any better than you can with VXLAN protocol.

Are your network security solutions leveraging the latest technologies to meet the needs of your workforce? Contact VectorUSA for an evaluation and custom recommendations for improving the security of your network and data.