Archives for posts with tag: Nexus 1000V

VXLAN (Virtual eXtensible LAN) is an ‘overlay’ technology introduced a couple of years ago to solve the challenges associated with VLAN scalability and to enable the creation of a large number of logical networks (up to 16 million). It also has the benefit of allowing layer 2 segments to be extended across layer 3 boundaries due to the MAC-in-UDP encapsulation used.

One of the most significant barriers to the deployment of VXLAN is its reliance upon IP multicast in the underlying network for handling of broadcast / multicast / unknown unicast traffic – many organisations simply do not run multicast today and have no desire to enable it on their network. Another issue is that while VXLAN itself can support up to 16 million segments, it is not feasible to support such a huge number of multicast groups on any network – so in larger scale VXLAN environments, multiple VXLAN segments might have to be mapped to a single multicast group, which can lead to flooding of traffic where it is not needed or wanted.

With the release of version 4.2(1)SV2(2.1) of the Nexus 1000V, Cisco have introduced ‘Enhanced VXLAN’ – this augmentation to VXLAN removes the requirement to deploy IP multicast and can utilise the VSM (Virtual Supervisor Module) for handling the distribution of MAC addresses to each of the VEMs (Virtual Ethernet Modules). This post will delve into the specifics of enhanced VXLAN and explain how the various modes work. Read the rest of this entry »

For anyone using the Nexus 1000V virtual switch, it’s sometimes useful to see what is happening directly on the Virtual Ethernet Module (VEM) residing on the host, rather than just having visibility from the Virtual Supervisor Module (VSM). The method to achieve this is via the ‘vemcmd’ syntax on the ESXi host. Unfortunately these commands are not well documented, so I thought it would be useful to provide a list of some of the more common ones.

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When the Nexus 1000V was first released, the only available control mode between VSM (Virtual Supervisor Module) and VEM (Virtual Ethernet Module) was layer 2 mode. This meant that the VSM and VEM had to be layer 2 adjacent (i.e. on the same VLAN). Layer 3 control mode was released a while ago however, which meant that the VSM and VEM could be on different VLANs / subnets. L3 control also makes things slightly simpler to set up as you don’t need to worry about trunking control / packet VLANs everywhere and setting up port groups for these.

Assuming you want to use L3 control mode, there are a couple of decisions to make: Read the rest of this entry »