VMware NSX Network Virtualization Links With Hardware Switches

In this week, numerous networking vendors declared physical switch integration with VMware’s NSX network visualization platform. According to sources, this would allow consumers to create virtual network overlays between virtual servers and bare metal. However, most strikingly, Cisco was not included in that group.

Hewlett-Packard (HP), Arista Networks, Cumulus Networks, Dell, Brocade and Juniper Networks declared support for VXLAN tunnel termination. All the companies, with the possible exception of that of the HP declared support for NSX VXLAN termination endpoint (VTEP) software on their switches that as believed by the experts would allow the NSX controller to provision connectivity through them.

VMware NSX NetworkAnalysts of the industry regard the absence of Cisco quite a mysterious incident. This in fact raises question among the interested person of the industry especially about the next step of virtualization. Chief architect of networking at VMware and founder of Nicira, Martin Casado stated that Cisco was one of the longtime partner as well as the first networking company they had strong integration with.

Eric Hanselman, research director with New York-based 451 Research is of the opinion that Cisco is perhaps planned to do such a thing that would suck the wind of those declaration.

Principal architect at Rackspace, a Windcrest, Texas-based hosting and cloud service provider, Brad McConnell informed that the process of insertion of physical switch integration within NSX is interesting to numerous networks designs especially inside of Rackspace. He further added that they are glad to be one of the earliest adopters. He further informed that as it is informed that it does not require any multicast, there is control plane integration.

In the words of Robert Grasby, senior product marketing manager at Sunnyvale, California-based Juniper, the VTEP is a Layer 2 gateway that is believed to prevent the broadcast flooding of IP addresses between physical and virtual networks. The purpose behind this is to recognize the next hope devices. It is also informed by Grasby that VTEP enrolls into NSX and shares its MAC tables. However, in order to enhance the efficiency of the network, everything is done programmatically that strongly oppose the learning and flooding approach.

As being stated by the reliable sources, both HP and Dell declared their support for NSX on latest top-of-rack- switches, the HP 5930 and the Dell S6000. On the other hand, it is declared by Cumulus Networks that NSX integration on the Linux-based network operating system that is especially designed to run on switches of white-box. NSX integration around a large chunk of its portfolio is announced by Juniper.

Grasby expressed that Juniper is declaring a wide range of Layer 2 gateways across our access portfolio, aggregation portfolio, core and edge routing portfolio. He further added that this provides them the ability to offer support to any consumer’s deployment scenario with NSX. Moreover, he also opined that it makes them able to connect the legacy or physical data center into a data center that is virtual in nature. They can allow multiple virtual networks to run in a single data center especially on the edge router.