VMware & Cisco Bring Virtual Extensible LAN

Virtualisation equipment maker VMware has partnered with Cisco and other tech giants to come up with a new way to solve the virtual-network configuration problem.

During the VMWorld tech conference, the company previews what it calls the Virtual Extensible LAN, or VXLAN. The company said that it was partnering with Cisco, Arista Networks, Emulex, Broadcom, and Intel to standardise the technology in cloud computing networks.

Virtualisation providers have come with ways to move around virtual machines in the cloud but it remains difficult for administrators to manage the virtual network as it still requires a fair bit amount of manual configuration.

In a blog post VMware chief Steve Herrod explained that by isolating the network ID of a machine from its location bring more mobility and enhanced performance for application.

“Using “MAC-in-UDP” encapsulation, VXLAN provides a Layer 2 abstraction to virtual machines (VMs), independent of where they are located. It completely untethers the VMs from physical networks by allowing VMs to communicate with each other using a transparent overlay scheme over physical networks that could span Layer 3 boundaries,” Herrod said.

A draft has also been published at the IETF in line with this effort which can be accessed here.