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Interconnecting Data Centers Using VPLS: Ensure Business Continuance on Virtualized Networks by Implementing Layer 2 Connectivity Across Layer 3 (Networking Technology Series)


As data centers grow in size and complexity, enterprises are adopting server virtualization technologies such as VMware, VMotion, NIC teaming, and server clustering to achieve increased efficiency of resources and to ensure business resilience. However, these technologies often involve significant expense and challenges to deal with complex multisite interconnections and to maintain the high availability of network resources and applications.

Interconnecting Data Centers Using ...

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Interconnecting Data Centers Using VPLS (Ensure Business Continuance on Virtualized Networks by Implementing Layer 2 Connectivity Across Layer 3)

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As data centers grow in size and complexity, enterprises are adopting server virtualization technologies such as VMware, VMotion, NIC teaming, and server clustering to achieve increased efficiency of resources and to ensure business resilience. However, these technologies often involve significant expense and challenges to deal with complex multisite interconnections and to maintain the high availability of network resources and applications.

Interconnecting Data Centers Using VPLS presents Virtual Private Lan Service (VPLS) based solutions that provide high-speed, low-latency network and Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) isolation between data centers resulting in significant cost savings and a highly resilient virtualization network. The design guidance, configuration examples, and best practices presented in this book have been validated under the Cisco Validated Design (CVD) System Assurance program to facilitate faster, more reliable and more predictable deployments. The presented solutions included detailed information about issues that relate to large Layer 2 bridging domains and offer guidance for extending VLANs over Layer 3 networks using VPLS technology.

Implementing this breakthrough Data Center Interconnect (DCI) strategy will evolve your network to support current sever virtualization techniques and to provide a solid foundation for emerging approaches. The book takes you from the legacy deployment models for DCI, problems associated with extending Layer 2 networks, through VPN technologies, to various MST-, EEM-, and GRE-based deployment models and beyond. Although this book is intended to be read cover-to-cover, it is designed to be flexible and allow you to easily move between chapters to develop the solution most compatible with your requirements.

• Describes a variety of deployment models to effectively transport Layer 2 information, allowing your virtualization solution to operate effectively

• Explains benefits and trade-offs of various solutions for you to choose the solution most compatible with your network requirements to ensure business resilience

• Provides detailed design guidance and configuration examples that follow CIsco best practice recommendations tested within the CVD

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587059926
  • Publisher: Cisco Press
  • Publication date: 7/8/2009
  • Series: Networking Technology Series
  • Pages: 362
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Nash Darukhanawalla, CCIE No. 10332, has more than 25 years of internetworking experience. He has held a wide variety of consulting, technical, product development, customer support, and management positions. Nash’s technical expertise includes extensive experience in designing and supporting complex networks with a strong background in configuring, troubleshooting, and analyzing network systems. Nash has been with Cisco for more than 10 years and is currently an engineering manager

in the Enhanced Customer Aligned Testing Services (ECATS) group in the Advanced Services organization. Nash graduated with a bachelor of science degree in physics and computer science from the University of Bombay, India, and is a CCIE in routing and switching. He has written several white papers on various technologies and recently wrote the System Assurance Guide on High Availability Campus Network Design – Routed Access Using EIGRP or OSPF.

Patrice Bellagamba has been in the networking industry for more than 25 years and has spent more than 10 years in engineering development. He is a consulting engineer and a recognized expert in IP and MPLS technologies. He is one of the influencers in the development of MPLS and has led MPLS techtorials at Networkers in Europe since its

inception. He is also the inventor of the Embedded Event Manager (EEM) semaphore concept and is the designer of the VPLS-based solutions that this book describes. Patrice holds an engineering degree from the E´cole Supérieure d’Electricité, one of France’s prestigious Grandes E´coles and a top institution in the field of electrical and computer engineering. He has written several Cisco white papers on the use of MPLS technology.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xv

Chapter 1 Data Center Layer 2 Interconnect 1

Overview of High-Availability Clusters 2

Public Network Attachment 3

Private Network Attachment 3

Data Center Interconnect: Legacy Deployment Models 4

Problems Associated with Extended Layer 2 Networks 5

Summary 7

Chapter 2 Appraising Virtual Private LAN Service 9

VPN Technology Considerations 9

Layer 3 Virtual Private Networks 10

Layer 2 Virtual Private Networks 10

VPLS Overview 11

Understanding Pseudowires 14

VPLS to Scale STP Domain for Layer 2 Interconnection 15

H-VPLS Considerations 17

EEM 18


Label Switching Functions 19


MPLS LDP Targeted Session 20

Limit LDP Label Allocation 21

MPLS LDP-IGP Synchronization 21

MPLS LDP TCP “Pak Priority” 21

MPLS LDP Session Protection 22

Summary 22

Chapter 3 High Availability for Extended Layer 2 Networks 23

MTU Evaluation for Intersite Transport 23

Core Routing 25

Mixed MPLS/IP Core 26

Different IGP for IP Core and MPLS 27

Same IGP for IP Core and MPLS 27

Pure MPLS Core 28

Pure IP Core 30

Convergence Optimization 32

Key Convergence Elements 33

Failure Detection and Tuning 33

IP Event Dampening 34

BFD 35

Link Debounce Timer 37

Carrier-Delay Timer 38

Alternate Route Computation 40

Summary 42

Chapter 4 MPLS Traffic Engineering 43

Understanding MPLS-TE 43

Fast Reroute 44

Load Repartition over the Core 45

Load Repartition over a Parallel-Links Bundle 45

Implementing MPLS-TE for Traffic Repartition over Parallel Links 46

Enable TE 47

Create MPLS-TE Tunnels and Map Each VFI to a Tunnel LSP 48

Explicit-Path Option 48

Adding FRR to Explicit Option 50

Affinity Option 52

Adding FRR to Affinity Option 52

Summary 53

Chapter 5 Data Center Interconnect: Architecture Alternatives 55

Ensuring a Loop-Free Global Topology: Two Primary Solution Models 55

N-PE Using MST for Access to VPLS 56

N-PE Using ICCP Emulation for Access to VPLS 56

Data Center Interconnect Design Alternatives: Summary and Comparison 57

Chapter 6 Case Studies for Data Center Interconnect 61

Case Study 1: Large Government Organization 61

Challenges 61

Solution 62

Case Study 2: Large Outsourcer for Server Migration and Clustering 65

Challenges 65

Solution 65

Summary 68

Chapter 7 Data Center Multilayer Infrastructure Design 69

Network Staging for Design Validation 71

Hardware and Software 72

Convergence Tests 73

Traffic Flow 73

Traffic Rate 73

Traffic Profile 74

Summary 76

Chapter 8 MST-Based Deployment Models 77

MST in N-PE: MST Option 1a 77

Implementing MST in N-PE: MST Option 1a Design 80

Convergence Tests 100

Cluster Server Tests 103

VPLS with N-PE Redundancy Using RPVST with Isolated

MST in N-PE: MST Option 1b 106

EEM Scripting to Complement Isolated MST Solution 109

Implementing RPVST in a Data Center with Isolated MST

in N-PE (MST Option 1b) Design 110

Convergence Tests 130

Cluster Server Tests 134

Summary 138

Chapter 9 EEM-Based Deployment Models 139

N-PE Redundancy Using the Semaphore Protocol: Overview 139

Semaphore Definition 141

Semaphore Theory Application 142

N-PE Redundancy Using Semaphore Protocol: Details 142

VPLS PWs in Normal Mode 142

Primary N-PE Failure 145

Primary N-PE Recovers After the Failure 145

Implementing a Semaphore 146

EEM / Semaphore Scripts 147

Naming Conventions 148

Loopback Definitions 148

Node Definitions 149

VPLS with N-PE Redundancy Using EEM Semaphore:

EEM Option 2 150

Control Plane 151

Data Plane 151

Theory of Operation 151

Normal Mode 151

Failure Conditions 152

Primary N-PE Node Failure 153

Primary N-PE Node Recovers After the Failure 154

N-PE Routers: Hardware and Software 154

Implementing VPLS with N-PE Redundancy Using

EEM Semaphore Design 154

Convergence Tests 168

Cluster Server Tests 172

H-VPLS with N-PE Redundancy Using EEM Semaphore:

EEM Option 3 176

Control Plane 179

Data Plane 179

Theory of Operation 179

Normal Mode 179

Primary N-PE Node or Q-Link Failure 180

Primary N-PE Node or Q-Link Recovers After the Failure 181

N-PE Routers: Hardware and Software 182

Implementing H-VPLS with N-PE Redundancy Using EEM Semaphore

Design 182

Convergence Tests 195

Server Cluster Tests 199

Multidomain H-VPLS with N-PE Redundancy: EEM Option 4a 201

Control Plane 203

Data Plane 203

Theory of Operation 204

Normal Mode 204

Primary N-PE Node or Q-Link Failure 204

Primary N-PE Node or Q-Link Recovery After the Failure 205

N-PE Routers: Hardware and Software 207

Implementing Multidomain H-VPLS with N-PE Redundancy

Using EEM Semaphore Design 207

Convergence Tests 217

Server Cluster Tests 221

Multidomain H-VPLS with Dedicated U-PE: EEM Option 4b 227

Multidomain H-VPLS with Multichassis EtherChannel: EEM Option 5a 227

Solution Positioning 230

Multidomain H-VPLS with MEC and VLAN Load Balancing:

EEM Option 5b 230

Control Plane 233

Data Plane 233

Theory of Operation 233

Normal Mode 233

Primary N-PE Node Failure 234

Primary N-P Node Recovers After the Failure 235

N-PE Routers: Hardware and Software 236

Implementing EEM Option 5b 237

Convergence Tests 252

Server Tests 259

Multidomain H-VPLS with MEC and VLAN Load Balancing:

PWs on Active and Standby VPLS Nodes in Up/Up State:

EEM Option 5c 262

N-PE Routers: Hardware and Software 264

Configuration Summary 265

Convergence Tests 270

Summary 275

Chapter 10 GRE-Based Deployment Model 277

Key Configuration Steps for VPLSoGRE-Based Solutions 279

VPLSoGRE with N-PE Redundancy Using EEM Semaphore 282

Convergence Tests 284

Cluster Server Tests 286

VPLSoGRE: Multidomain with H-VPLS Solution 291

Convergence and Cluster Server Tests 296

Cluster Server Tests 298

Summary 302

Chapter 11 Additional Data Center Interconnect Design Considerations 303

Multicast Deployment in a Layer 2 Environment 303

Multicast at Layer 2 304

Tuning the IGMP Query Interval 304

Spanning Tree, HSRP, and Service Module Design 306

Routing Design 306

QinQ MAC Overlapping 307

Storm Control 310

L2 Control-Plane Packet Storm Toward N-PE 311

L2 Broadcast and Multicast Packet Storm 312

L2 Known Unicast Packet Storm 313

L2 Unknown Unicast Packet Storm 314

QoS Considerations 315

Stateful Switchover Considerations 318

IGP (OSPF) Cost 318

Router ID Selection 319

Summary 319

Chapter 12 VPLS PE Redundancy Using Inter-Chassis

Communication Protocol 321

Introducing ICCP 322

Interaction with AC Redundancy Mechanisms 324

Interaction with PW Redundancy Mechanisms 325

Configuring VPLS PE Redundancy Using ICCP 326

Summary 327

Chapter 13 Evolution of Data Center Interconnect 329

A Larger Problem to Solve 329

Networking Technology: Research Directions 330

Improving Legacy L2 Bridging 330

New Concepts in L2 Bridging 331

L2 Service over L3 Transport: MPLS or IP? Battle or Coexistence? 332

Summary 333

Glossary 335

Index 339

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A good book to explain complex VPLS design solutions

    The book's goal is to provide architectural design and configuration guide on Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) based solution that use high speed and low latency network as well as Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) isolation to connect multiple data centers.

    The book starts with chapters explaining the high availability clusters concept, introduction to VPLS, and implementation of traffic engineering using MPLS. If you are familiar with MPLS, these chapters are easily readable.

    Then the book jumps into detail discussing architectural designs and configuration needed to interconnect these data centers that require a strong understanding of spanning tree protocol (STP), routing protocols (OSPF), Hot Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) redundancy, IP SLA concepts and other features such as the new VSS for Cisco 6500 switches, to follow. The book will assume that the readers already understand these concepts and will not explain them in details. Therefore, this book is absolutely not for network beginners.

    The book also discusses nine different flavors of data center interconnect solutions using combinations of STP modes, local VLAN mapping and other criteria. It explains how each option works in detail and what option works for what environment. It also lists all the complete configurations needed for the aggregation switches and provider edge routers for most of the options. That is useful since I do not have to refer to the previous chapters to see parts of the configurations. I know that many of the configurations probably can be found on the Cisco web site but it is nice to have them bundled together in one book as a reference.

    The authors actually configured most of these options in their lab environment and provided the convergence test results and server clusters event logs at the end of each solutions. The book provides a lot of network diagram illustrations to help readers understand how the solution works in normal mode and in failover mode. .

    The book helps me to understand many basic LAN switching concepts that are being used in this solution but with some modification, For example, a simple Ether-channel to load balance connections can be used with some traffic engineering to control load repartition of traffic. Another example will be a feature called semaphore, which for me is similar to HSRP to a degree, which can be configured with EEM script and STP to activate the backup node.

    I rate this book 5 out of 5 and recommend the book for people who want to learn more about VPLS. It has a lot of helpful information that will help readers to get familiar with VPLS concept and configuration especially for interconnecting data centers.

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