Using TRILL, FabricPath, and VXLAN

Using TRILL, FabricPath, and VXLAN : Designing Massively Scalable Data Centers (MSDC) with Overlays

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Using TRILL, FabricPath, and VXLAN

Designing Massively Scalable Data Centers with Overlays

TRILL, FabricPath, and VXLAN overlays help you distribute data traffic far more effectively, dramatically improving utilization in even the largest data center networks. Using TRILL, FabricPath, and VXLAN is the first practical and comprehensive guide to planning and establishing these high-efficiency overlay networks. The authors begin by reviewing today's fast-growing data center requirements, and making a strong case for overlays in the Massive Scale Data Center (MSDC). Next, they introduce each leading technology option, including FabricPath, TRILL, LISP, VXLAN, NVGRE, OTV, and Shortest Path Bridging (SPB). They also present a chapter-length introduction to IS-IS, focusing on details relevant to the control of FabricPath and TRILL networks. Building on this foundation, they offer in-depth coverage of FabricPath: its advantages, architecture, forwarding, configuration, verification, and benefits in Layer-2 networks. Through examples, they explain TRILL's architecture, functionality, and forwarding behavior, focusing especially on data flow. They also fully address VXLAN as a solution for realizing IP-based data center fabrics, including multi-tenant cloud applications.

Using TRILL, FabricPath, and VXLAN provides detailed strategies and methodologies for FabricPath, TRILL, and VXLAN deployment and migration, as well as best practices for management and troubleshooting. It also presents three detailed implementation scenarios, each reflecting realistic data center challenges. In particular, the authors show how to integrate multiple overlay technologies into a single end-to-end solution that offers exceptional flexibility, agility, and availability.

Sanjay K. Hooda is principal engineer in Catalyst switching software engineering at Cisco. He has more than 15 years of network design and implementation experience in large enterprise environments, and has participated in IETF standards activities. His interests include wireless, multicast, TRILL, FabricPath, High Availability, ISSU, and IPv6. He is co-author of IPv6 for Enterprise Networks.

Shyam Kapadia, Technical Leader at Cisco's Data Center Group (DCG), was an integral part of the team that delivered the next-generation Catalyst 6500 Sup 2T (2 Terabyte) platform. Since then, he has focused on developing new solutions for data center environments. He holds a Ph.D. in computer science from USC, where his research encompassed wired, wireless, ad hoc, vehicular, and sensor networks.

Padmanabhan Krishnan has more than 12 years of experience in networking and telecommunications, including 7 at Cisco. His recent experience has included providing data path solutions for TRILL in the Catalyst 6500 Sup 2T Platform using FPGA, as well as design and development of platform core infrastructure and L2 features.

n Discover how overlays can address data center network problems ranging from scalability to rapid provisioning

n Examine popular data center overlay examples

n Learn about extensions to IS-IS for TRILL and FabricPath

n Use FabricPath, TRILL, and VXLAN to simplify configuration, improve performance and availability, optimize efficiency, and limit table size

n Learn about FabricPath control and data plane architecture details

n Review example FabricPath configurations on Cisco Nexus 7000/6000/5000 switches

n Understand TRILL concepts and architecture, including overlay header, control and data plane, and MAC address learning

n Learn about VXLAN architecture details and packet forwarding

n Review example VXLAN configurations on a Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual switch

n Implement TRILL/FabricPath networks with VXLAN to virtualized servers in an intra-data center environment

n Connect multiple traditional data centers using an OTV overlay as a Layer 2 extension

n Use OTV overlays to connect sites running FabricPath, TRILL, or both
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 187.96 x 228.6 x 22.86mm | 616.88g
  • Cisco Press
  • Indianapolis, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations, figures
  • 1587143933
  • 9781587143939
  • 696,934

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Need for Overlays in Massive Scale Data Centers 1

Evolution of the Data Center 1

Changing Requirements of Data Centers 4

Data Center Architectures 6


Fat-Tree 9

Single Fabric 9

Need for Overlays 10

Summary 15

References 15

Chapter 2 Introduction to Overlay Technologies 19

Overlay Technologies Overview 20

Cisco FabricPath 22

FabricPath Requirements 22

FabricPath Benefits 23

FabricPath Architecture 24

FabricPath Encapsulation 24

FabricPath Data Plane Operation 25


TRILL Requirements 27

TRILL Frame Format 28

TRILL Data Plane Operation 28

Locator ID/Separator Protocol 30

LISP Frame Format 30

LISP Routing 30


VXLAN Frame Format 33

VXLAN Data Path Operation 34


NVGRE Frame Format 36

NVGRE Data Path Operation 36

Overlay Transport Virtualization 38

OTV Frame Format 39

OTV Operation 40

Provider Backbone Bridges (PBB) 41

Shortest Path Bridging 43

Shortest Path Bridging MAC 43

Shortest Path Bridging VID 45

Summary 47

References 47

Chapter 3 IS-IS 49

Introduction to IS-IS 49

Concepts 50

Neighbor Discovery 51

Topology Exchange 51

Flooding 51

Route Computation 52

Link State Protocol Scaling 52

Link State Protocol in a Local Area Network 53

IS-IS Architecture Details 55

TRILL and FabricPath Specific Changes in IS-IS 56

Overview of TRILL and FabricPath 57

IS-IS Frame Formats 58

Router Capability TLV 59

Multitopology-Aware Port Capability TLV 59

TRILL IS-IS Neighbor Discovery 59



TRILL Neighbor TLV 64

Router Capability Sub-TLVs 64

Multitopology-Aware Port Capability Sub-TLVs 64

Area Address TLV 67

Protocols Supported TLV 67

TRILL and FabricPath Topology Exchange 67

Flooding 69

Nickname or SwitchID Resolution 70

Shortest Path Computation 71

Distribution Trees Computation 71

Pruning the Distribution Tree 74


MAC Reachability TLV 78

Fine Grained Labeling 79

Pseudo Node 81

Multi Topology Routing 83

Summary 84

References 84

Additional Resources 84

Chapter 4 FabricPath 85

FabricPath Overview 86

FabricPath Architecture 87

Core and Edge 88

Addressing Concepts 89

VLANs 89

vPC+ 89

FabricPath Encapsulation 91

FabricPath Control Plane Protocols 93

IGMP Snooping in FabricPath Multicast Networks 96

FabricPath Dynamic Resource Allocation Protocol 97

Allocation of Resources by DRAP 97

FabricPath MAC Address Learning 98

Control Plane Learning 98

Data Plane Learning 98

FabricPath STP Interaction 102

Topology Change Notifications Forwarding 105

FabricPath Packet Forwarding 106

Broadcast: ARP Request 108

Unicast: ARP Reply 111

Unicast: Data 113

IP Multicast Forwarding 116

FabricPath Basic Configuration 119

FabricPath Benefits 121

Summary 122

References 122

Chapter 5 TRILL 123

Need for TRILL 124

Spanning Tree in Layer 2 Networks 124

Issues with Spanning Tree Protocol 126

Virtual Switching System 127

Giant Virtual Switch 128

Flat Network 129

Layer 3 Network 130

Concepts and Terminologies 130

RBridge 131

Appointed Forwarder 132

Addressing Concepts 133

TRILL Frame Format 134

TRILL Control Plane 136

Unicast 136

Multicast 137

Pruning 139

TRILL Data Plane 141

Unicast 141

Ingress RBridge Processing 141

Processing of TRILL Packets 143

Multidestination 143

Ingress Processing 144

Core and Egress Processing 146

Egress Processing 146

MAC Address Learning in TRILL-Based Networks 147

Dynamic Learning 147

Learning Through Control Protocols 147

Work in Progress 148

Multitopology Routing 148

Fine-Grained Labeling 149

Ingress RBridge 152

Core RBridge 152

Egress RBridge 152

Pseudo Node 152

Choosing a Pseudo Nickname 154

Multiple Distribution Trees per Member RBridge 156

Synchronization of MAC Addresses 158

Case Studies 159

Bidirectional Packet Flow 159

Traffic from H1 to H2 160

Traffic from H2 to H1 164

Packet Flow for Pseudo Node 167

Packet Originating from Host H1 170

Reverse Traffic from Host H2 to H1 172

Summary 174

References 174

Additional Resources 175

Chapter 6 VXLAN 177

VXLAN Overview 177

Advent of VXLAN 178

VXLAN Architecture 179

VXLAN Header Format 181

VXLAN Packet Forwarding 182

Broadcast: ARP Request 183

Unicast: ARP Reply 184

Unicast: Data 186

Unknown Unicast 187

VM Mobility Case 188

IPv6 Data Forwarding 190

NS Request and NA Response 191

VXLAN Gateway 192

Inter-VXLAN Communication 196

Layer 3 Multicast 198

Multicast-Less VXLAN 200

Floodless VXLAN Forwarding 203

VXLAN as a Network Overlay 205

Other VXLAN Considerations 207

VXLAN Basic Configuration 208

VXLAN Gateway Configuration 210

Summary 211

References 211

Chapter 7 FabricPath Deployment, Migration, and Troubleshooting 213

vPC 214

vPC Overview 214

vPC Terminology 215

vPC Benefits 216

vPC Deployment Scenarios 217

Double-Sided vPC 218

vPC Operations 219

vPC Traffic Flow 224

Cisco Fabric Services over Ethernet 225

vPC ARP Sync 225

vPC Peer Gateway 225

vPC Verification 227

vPC+ 231

vPC+ Overview 231

vPC+ Basics 232

vPC+ Basic Packet Flow 236

Active/Active HSRP Forwarding 238

FabricPath Topologies 241

Migration to FabricPath Network 242

Conversion from Classical Layer 2 to FabricPath Network 242

Conversion of vPC to vPC+ (Classical Ethernet to FabricPath) 244

Configuring vPC+ on Secondary Switch 246

Configuring vPC+ on Primary Switch 249

Conversion of Access Switch (Sw3) Connecting to Secondary (Sw2) to FabricPath 251

Converting Access Switch Sw3 Uplink Connecting to Sw1 to FabricPath 254

Monitoring and Troubleshooting in FabricPath Networks 257

Loopback Message 258

Path Trace Message 259

Multicast Trace Message 259

FabricPath OAM Configuration Model 261

Summary 270

References 270

Chapter 8 TRILL Deployment, Migration, and Troubleshooting 271

Introduction 271

TRILL Deployment 271

TRILL Between Access and Distribution 274

TRILL Core 274

Layer 2 Bridging Case 276

Layer 3 Routing Cases 277

Expanding the POD 285

TRILL Everywhere 286

Meshed Distribution with No Core 287

Link Aggregation or Pseudo-Node Deployments 287

CLOS Network Model 289

Migration Toward TRILL 290

TRILL and Spanning Tree 291

Appointed Forwarder Solution 292

Spanning Tree Solution 293

Bottom-up Migration Toward TRILL 296

Top-down Migration Toward TRILL 298

Monitoring and Troubleshooting in TRILL Networks 299

OAM Packet Format 300

Connectivity Verification 302

Path Tracing 303

TRILL Configuration Model 304

Summary 304

References 305

Chapter 9 Multi-Overlay Deployments 307

Overview 307

Case Study 1: TRILL or FabricPath Network with VXLAN to Virtualized Servers 309

Case Study 2: Data Center Interconnect Using OTV 315

Case Study 3: Interconnecting TRILL or FabricPath Data Centers Using OTV 321

Merging TRILL or FabricPath Networks 321

Independent TRILL or FabricPath Networks 323

Interconnection of TRILL and FabricPath Data Centers 325

Packet Flow 325

Summary 327

References 328

Index 329
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About Shyam Kapadia

Sanjay Hooda, CCIE No. 11737, is currently a principal engineer at Cisco, where he works with embedded systems and helps define new product architectures. His current passion is to design the next-generation campus architecture, and he is focused on simplifying

the design and deployment of wired and wireless infrastructure. Over the last 17 years, Sanjay's experience spans various areas including high availability; messaging in large-scale distributed systems; Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA); large-scale software projects; and enterprise campus and LAN,WAN, and data center network design.

Shyam Kapadia, Ph.D., is currently a technical leader in the Data Center Group at Cisco. He graduated from the University of Southern California with Ph.D. and master's degrees in computer science in 2006. His research interests broadly lie in the area of networking systems including wired, wireless, ad-hoc, vehicular, and sensor networks. He has co-authored several conference and journal publications in these areas including a book chapter in the relatively nascent area of intermittently connected wireless networks ( At Cisco, for the first few years, he was an integral part of the team that delivered the next-generation Catalyst 6500 Sup 2T platform. During the past few years, he has been intrinsically involved in developing solutions for data center environments with more than 25 submitted patents in this area. Over the past 12 years, Shyam has been the speakers chair for a premiere Open Source conference, Southern California Linux Exposition (SCALE), hosted in the Los Angeles area. In his spare time, he loves watching international movies and is passionate about sports like cricket, basketball, and American football.

Padmanabhan Krishnan is a software engineer in the Data Center Group at Cisco. He joined Cisco 7 years ago and has more than 12 years of experience in various areas of networking and telecommunication. He obtained his master's degree in computer science from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, and his bachelor's degree in engineering from Madras University, India. His research work for the master's degree included Diffserv, MPLS traffic engineering, and QOS routing/Connection Admission Control in ad-hoc wireless networks. Padmanabhan has worked in many overlay technologies in Cisco such as 802.1ah, TRILL, FabricPath, and VPLS. He was responsible for the design and development of the core infrastructure used by the forwarding drivers and many Layer 2 features in the next generation Catalyst 6500 Sup 2T Platform. Prior to joining Cisco, Padmanabhan worked in ATM signaling and DVB-RCS, an interactive on-demand multimedia satellite communication system specification.
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