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February 9, 2015

Cisco boosts open standards in SDN

The networking firm adds support for BGP EVPN on its Nexus switches.

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Cisco has taken further steps in promoting open standards in Software Defined Networking (SDN) after announcing support for BGP EVPN on its Nexus 9000 switches.

The Border Gateway Protocol, Ethernet Virtual Private Network (BGP EVPN) is currently a draft proposal developed by Cisco, Juniper, Verizon, AT&T, Alcatel-Lucent and Bloomberg.

The networking firm said Nexus support for the BGP EVPN protocol gives customers a choice of deployment options, allowing them to achieve operational flexibility and integration with third party overlay controllers.

With BGP EVPN, the Nexus 9000 now provides VXLAN overlays and Cisco ACI for policy-based automation.

Cisco added that IT organisations can run an EVPN VXLAN controller on a traditional Nexus 9000 switch in "standalone" mode.

They can also deploy Nexus 9000 switches in ACI mode with the APIC controller to take advantage of the ACI application policy model for capabilities such as: integrated overlay, virtual and physical network visibility, system telemetry, and health scores.

Cisco said the move will extend its leadership in promoting open standards, interoperability and mult-vendor solutions for SDN technology.

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The BGP EVPN protocol also claims to ease policy-based automation for overlay networks in multi-vendor environments.

By running an open cloud management platform, such as OpenStack, on top of a BGP EVPN controller, organisations will be able to provision and manage their VXLAN-based overlay environments, including the ongoing management of endpoint address mappings, allowing native workload mobility support.

The BGP EVPN technology will also support EVPN VXLAN technology across a range of topologies (spine-leaf, three-tier aggregation, full mesh), as well as interoperate with a wide range of Top of Rack (ToR) switches and WAN equipment.

 

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