Cumulus Networks has announced that its Cumulus Linux network OS now supports EVPN (Ethernet VPN) for VXLAN, which can be used to provide a control plane function via BGP to support L2 tunneling across an L3 fabric inside a data center.
With this EVPN support, Cumulus lets network operators take full advantage of VXLAN tunnels to connect L2 endpoints and provide multitenancy, but without the need for a dedicated controller, and without having to rely on traditional methods of MAC address discovery such as flooding.
EVPN is an IETF standard that takes advantage of the Multi-Protocol BGP (MP-BGP) extension, which allows BGP to support a variety of address families, including MAC addresses. By using BGP as a control plane, when one switch learns a MAC address, it advertises it to other peered switches, helping reduce broadcast traffic and speeding convergence.
JR Rivers, CTO and cofounder at Cumulus Networks, said the company added this support for customers who are building an IP fabric in the data center and still need to provide L2 support over the fabric, but are looking for an alternative to commercial options such as VMware NSX.
Rivers also noted that Cisco and Juniper each have their own specific implementations of the standard, and that Cumulus supports both.
Customers deploying the Cumulus NOS should be aware that the hardware must include a chipset that supports VXLAN. This support is available on common hardware platforms including Mellanox Spectrum, and the Broadcom Trident II, Trident II+, and Tomahawk chips.
The EVPN VXLAN support is available now.