VXLAN – Virtual Extensible LAN

As the time goes by and the network with more and more virtualised servers and other devices are making that network more complicated, overlay technologies are rising to save the day for network administrators.

Virtual Extensible LAN – VXLAN is a new encapsulation technology used to run an overlay network on current Layer 3 communication network. An overlay network is considered as a practical network that is set up on the top of current layer 2 network. It also considers additional layer 3 technologies to aid flexible computer architectures. VXLAN will make sure it is very easy for network engineers to level out the right cloud computing setting while reasonably separating cloud applications and tenants. A cloud computing environment is defined as a multitenant, every tenant needs its separately configured logical network, which in return needs it’s very own network ID or identification.

What the hell that means?

What it this VXLAN doing actually. To put it simple, VXLAN can create logical network to connect your virtual machines across different networks. It is enabling us to make a layer 2 network for our VMs on top of our layer 3 network. That’s why VXLAN is a overlay technology. In “normal” network if you are connecting virtual machine to get the connection to some other virtual machine on different subnet, you need to use a layer 3 router to make a connection between networks. With VXLAN we can utilize VXLAN gateway of some sort to connect them without even exiting into physical network.

VXLAN frame

Image: VXLAN frame – taken from blog.cisco.com website

Normally, network engineers have made use of virtual LANs – VLANs to separate applications and tenants in a cloud computing setting but VLAN requirements just permit or allow for up to 4,096 network identifications to be allocated at a specific given period – which may not be adequate addresses for a very big cloud computing setting. The main goal of VXLAN is to lengthen the VLAN address space just by including 24-bit sector identification and maximizing the number of accessible identifications to 16 million. The virtual extensible LAN – VXLAN segment identification in every frame makes individual logical networks stand out which means millions of separated Layer 2 VXLAN networks that can stay on normal Layer 3 infrastructure.

Just like VLANs, just virtual machines in the same rational network can commune with one other. If accepted, VXLAN is capable of potentially permitting network engineers to transfer virtual devices across extended distances and play a very vital role in software-defined networking – SDN, an up and coming structural design that lets servers or controllers tell network switches exactly where they need to send packets. In conventional networks, every switch has proprietary program that tells it exactly what to do. In SDNs, the transfer or packet decisions are consolidated and the flow of network traffic can be planned separately of all personal switches and information center equipment.

To put to use software-defined networking with VXLAN, supervisors can make use of current hardware and software, this feature helps to make the technology strong and appealing financially. There are so many vendors who are rolling out VXLAN gateways because it helps to bridge network services between software based network overlays and fundamental physical infrastructure. A lot of vendors have been able to pitch network overlays set on gateway protocols such as VXLAN or virtual extensible VLAN, as a method to implement software based, virtualized cloud networking. It is a very amazing, however network overlays do not restore the physical setting, and they just abstract it.

The physical network is still available and it has to be well organized. Also, a lot of network overlays are organized in hybrid settings where a lot of the information center is still ruled by legacy architecture and network services, like firewalls and load balances, are still put into place in hardware. Due to this, companies will need VXLAN gateway in other to expand services and administration across both physical and virtual networks. There are VXLAN gateways available in programs, but hardware support will be better scaled. VXLAN is mostly the easiest implementation of the traditional network to virtualization border, got from legacy networking to complete virtualized networking. So many companies are benefiting from these networks in running their businesses.

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