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Simplicity: what Ethernet Virtual Interconnect brings to Data Center Interconnect

By Simon Huang, HP Networking Global Product Line Manager                   


sh.pngEthernet Virtual Interconnect (EVI) is one of the latest HP Networking innovations launched recently at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco.  As the global product line manager of this technology, I would like to share you why Data Center Interconnect (DCI) is so critical to the data centers, and how big a difference EVI brings to the DCI solution.


Deep dive into the Ethernet Virtual Interconnect and Data Center Interconnect discussion


When people first hear about interconnecting data centers with layer 2, the immediate response is:


Why you are doing that?  Don’t you have to create spanning tree across all your networks? It seems messy! 


But hold on. A couple of years back, live virtual machine migration such as “vMotion” was introduced to the data center so that people migrate a virtual machine from one physical host to another.  Since then we entered a complete new world of data center virtualization.  More and more x86-based applications are moved to virtualized environment reaching 75% by 2016 according to industry-leading research groups.


But why still layer 2 across data centers? Well, once people virtualized the x86-based applications, they can migrate virtual workloads from host to host, rack to rack, room to room, one floor to another floor. Then what? IT professionals want to push that to the limit by moving them from site to site or data center to data center.


At VMworld 2012, VMware announced the de-coupling of shared storage requirements starting from 5.1 releases, which means vMotion can happen on any 2 separate hosts without having shared storage.


Now, you can achieve greater IT mobility, agility, disaster recovery, high availability and business continuity. How?  By migrating the applications from host to host, rack to rack, room to room, floor to floor as far as they are connected from layer 2 prospective. The layer 2 adjacency is still the fundamental requirement. 


Can you really do remote vMotion across data centers or sites? 


Yes of course, there are many existing technologies such as DWDM to bring the layer 2 connected.


Wait, how about spanning tree? How about loop avoidance?  How about layer 2 re-convergence? 


Well, we can manage that with ACLs. We can block them. We can suppress them. We can filter them.


OK, is there a better way than using Access Control Lists (ACLs)? 


Simplicity with EVI


EVI  is the technology that brings you simplicity, simplicity and simplicity when you come to the layer 2 data center interconnect. 


You simply don’t need to worry about anything like DWDM/VPLS/Multicast on your infrastructure, just IP.  You simply don’t need to worry about ACLs, filters, CE/PE devices, just 5 command lines. You simply don’t need to worry about STP, loop avoidance, layer 2 re-converge in any of the data center, as it is all taken care of. You can now move your virtual applications to any of the 8 data centers.


How can EVI help with your cloud initiative? 


EVI is the foundation to interconnecting the private clouds so that IT professional can bring together the manageability throughout the infrastructure for on-demand services. EVI is also multitenant aware to enable the VAN or virtual application networks by joining up to 32 different application networks in a single tenant environment.


EVI/MDC means free! Simply upgrade from Comware 5 to Comware 7 if you are an existing customer. Give it a try and let us know how it works for your business.


>> Learn more about the simplicity Ethernet Virtual Interconnect brings to Data Center Interconnect

>> Read my colleague’s blog: Tell your data center story: Intelligent Resilient Framework for scalable, reliable data centers


>> Learn more about HP Networking products and solutions.

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Jim Dotson | ‎10-27-2012 04:10 AM

Today, we detect or match traffic flows in the network layer and redirect them to load balancers, IDS/IPS, or sniffers for trouble shooting. The use of GRE tunnels means that a second set of networking tools will be needed.


Would this mean a virtual appliance on either the source or destination, and probably operating in the VM Direct Path so as not to damage the VM performance too badly. do this?


Perhaps a sFlow switch (hardware) to randomly captures packet headers and then immediately send them to a central collector which decodes and analyzes the traffic. Network-wide visibility into EVI tunnels.


What is the distance limitations for spanning data centers with the EVI fabric? Is there a solution for the tromboning problem?




JIm Dotson

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