At Cisco Live 2013 in Orlando, Packet Pushers co-hosts Ethan Banks and Greg Ferro sat with Nexus 7000 champion Ron Fuller and network design expert Russ White to discuss how, when and why you might choose to deploy FabricPath, OTV, or LISP. In particular, we get into the specifics of what each protocol does, where they fit (and don’t fit), and then how to make them work together.
What’s FabricPath? FabricPath is a Cisco-specific version of TRILL. FabricPath enables layer 2 multipathing, with all links in a forwarding state. It is a spanning-tree replacement. In general, the FabricPath use-case is that of inside the data center.
What’s OTV? Overlay Transport Virtualization is a Cisco technology available in certain line cards of the Nexus 7000 and ASR products. OTV extends layer 2 domains between two or more data centers. As many as ten sites in a single OTV domain are supported. OTV is a data center interconnect (DCI) technology. Many clever features are built into OTV to minimize traffic tromboning, topology loops, and single points of failure.
What’s LISP? Locator/ID Separation Protocol is a mapping protocol & tunneling service that allows individual addresses to be mobile without encumbering the global routing system. LISP tracks where a specific end-node address lives and tunnels traffic to it, transparently to the requestor. In the context of FabricPath and OTV, LISP can help maintain symmetric traffic flows when a layer 2 domain is split between data centers. LISP is available on many different Cisco platforms, and is being worked on by the IETF.
In the show, we get into more detail about each of the three of these, and discuss how they fit together to form a cohesive network design, when your design includes layer 2 DCI with active/active data centers.