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MPLS And The Data Center Adrian Farrel Old Dog Consulting / Juniper Networks Agenda. What do I mean by “Data Center”? Design goals and requirements Handling mobility within the data center Connectivity between data center sites

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MPLS And The Data CenterAdrian FarrelOld Dog Consulting / Juniper

  • What do I mean by “Data Center”?
  • Design goals and requirements
  • Handling mobility within the data center
  • Connectivity between data center sites
  • Can MPLS add value?
everyone s data center is different
Everyone’s Data Center is Different



  • There are some common fundamental concepts
    • Racks of servers
    • VMs hosted on blades
    • VMs connected
      • On server
      • In rack
      • In DC
      • In other DCs
    • Connectivity to the externalservices

IP/MPLS Network






Top of Rack Switch






VMs on Server Blades

VM-based Appliances

design goals
Design Goals
  • Provide separate logical tenant networks in Data Center over common IP physical infrastructure
    • Design Goal: 100K tenants, 10M Virtual Machines (VMs)
  • Need a data plane encapsulation
    • Examples exist
      • Virtual Extensible Local Area Networks (VXLAN)
      • Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation (NVGRE)
  • Discovery is needed
    • Data plane learning seems popular
    • ARP doesn’t scale and needs to be suppressed
    • Maybe the control plane can help
  • A control plane is also required
    • Static configuration is a solution (Hypervisor with SDN?)
    • A control plane can make life a lot easier
multi tenancy requirements
Multi-Tenancy : Requirements
  • Multi-tenancy has become a core requirement of data centers
    • Including for Virtualized Machines (VMs) and VM multi-tenancy
    • It prooves a real stretch
  • Three key requirements needed to support multi-tenancy are
    • Traffic isolation
    • Address independence
    • Fully flexible VM placement and migration
  • IETF’s NVO3 WG considers approaches to multi-tenancy that reside at the  network layer rather than using traditional isolation (e.g., VLANs)
    • An overlay model to interconnect VMs distributed across a data center
  • We already have network layer overlay solutions
    • More about this later
  • Virtual Machines need to be moved between blades
    • How often?
      • Dynamic load balancing
      • Planned service
      • Failure recovery
    • How much?
      • Blades, servers, racks
    • How seamless?
      • Application re-start
      • Packet loss
      • Hitless
  • Challenges are recovery/preservation of connectivity
    • VMs need to preserve identity
      • L2 or L3?
    • Need rapid location discovery/advertisement
inter data center connectivity
Inter Data Center Connectivity
  • Many reasons for connectivity
    • Applications in different DCs need to talk
    • VMs may be gathered into VPNs (virtual VPNs?)
    • One application’s data might be stored in anther DC
    • Stored data has to be synched between DCs
  • Connectivity between DC sites is like VPN connectivity
    • Except it may be “tunnelling” virtual VPN connectivity
  • And, of course, connectivity to the outside world
what do we mean by mpls
What do we Mean by MPLS?
  • Odd time and place to be asking this question
  • MPLS offers a versatile encapsulation technique
    • Small headers
    • Nested encapsulation
    • Simple forwarding
    • Special meaning labels
  • MPLS provides a range of control plane protocols
    • These have different applicabilities
    • Some are more complex than others
  • Supports static configuration
the e vpn
  • Designed for scalability and ease of deployment
    • Provider Edge (PE) can be in ToR switch and/or Hypervisor
    • Operator defined networks – mesh, hub & spoke, extranets, etc
    • Control plane learning using BGP
    • VM Mobility – all PEs know VM’s E-VPN location
    • VPN and Virtual LAN auto-discovery
    • ARP flood suppression
    • Control-plane scaling using Route Reflectors, RT Constrain, ESI, MAC aggregation
      • Control & data plane traffic for VPNs only sent to PE with active VPN members
      • Scalable fast convergence using Block MAC address withdrawal
      • Support for MAC prefixes (e.g., default MAC route to external DC)
    • Broadcast & Multicast traffic over multicast trees or ingress replication
    • Active/active multi-homing
      • CE sees LAG, PEs see Ethernet Segment (set of attachments to same CE)
    • 4B tenant VPNs, 4B virtual LANs per tenant VPN
mpls e vpn routes
  • MAC Advertisement Route
    • Distributes MAC & IP address to PE & MPLS label binding
  • Per EVI Ethernet AD Route
    • Distributes Ethernet Segment to PE & MPLS label binding
    • Used in active/active multi-homing
  • Both carry a 24 bit MPLS label field
  • Use of MPLS label is very similar to VNID but supports local significance
  • Distribute VNID in MPLS label field
    • Either global or local significance
    • Local significance allows it to represent EVI, Port, MAC address, or MAC address range
  • Data plane encapsulation specified using Tunnel Encapsulation attribute (RFC 5512)
    • Distributed with both of the above routes
e vpn is encapsulation agnostic
E-VPN is Encapsulation Agnostic
  • E-VPN Instance can support multiple data plane encapsulations (MPLS, VXLAN, NVGRE, etc.)
    • MPLS encapsulation is just one option
  • Encapsulations advertised in BGP, ingress uses encapsulation supported by egress
    • This use of BGP is not complicated
  • Broadcast & multicast use encapsulation-specific shared trees
  • Allows interoperability with existing E-VPN & L3VPN deployments
    • This makes inter-DC really easy
is mpls the answer
Is MPLS The Answer?
  • What was the question?
  • Do we need another control plane protocol?
    • Why can’t we use what we already have?
    • Frankly, BGP is not that hard and does what we need
  • Can we integrate the DC with the outside world?
    • Gateways, tunnelling and encapsulation are always possible
    • Protocol gateways are a bit of a mess
    • E-VPN and L3VPN connectivity just works
  • Do we need another L2 encapsulation?
    • There are plenty available, just pick your favorite
  • This is an MPLS conference