Top 3 considerations for picking your BGP EVPN VXLAN infrastructure


The Mellanox team had the pleasure of discussing EVPN VXLAN at the Network Field Day session 17 held at Mellanox. To learn more, view the session recording. Below is our view of the top 3 considerations network operators should have before picking a solution:

1. Network Virtualization Without the Fine Print

◊ Fine Prints to watch out for with other vendors:

  • VXLAN routing is supported BUT ONLY with loopback cables
  • ONLY symmetric VXLAN routing is supported
  • ONLY asymmetric VXLAN routing is supported
  • ONLY 10GbE product support VXLAN routing

Mellanox Spectrum supports VXLAN routing in a single pass at 100/25GbE line rate. The solution supports both symmetric as well as asymmetric routing. Take a look at Ixia demonstrating VXLAN routing with IXNetwork and Mellanox Spectrum. Additionally, this solution works seamlessly with both RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) and TCP/IP traffic.

2. Performance at scale

◊ Common Performance/scale bottlenecks to watch out for with other vendors:

  • Oversubscribed buffer architecture
  • EVPN fabric can only grow up to 64 racks
  • Tunnel scale is low and non-deterministic

Mellanox Spectrum supports line rate 100GbE/25GbE switching with predictable cut-through low latency, intelligent congestion management and traffic fairness. Spectrum based EVPN fabrics can stretch up to 750 racks. Other solutions in the market typically have a limit of 64 or 128. Also, Spectrum can support up to 100K VXLAN tunnels.

3. Affordable EVPN VXLAN

◊ Common hidden costs to watch for with other vendors:

  • “Enhanced License” cost for dynamic routing protocol support
  • “Virtualization License” cost to enable VXLAN
  • “Automation license” for ZTP
  • “Visibility license” for simple network monitoring
  • Only relabeled optical transceivers are supported
  • Clunky and expensive systems built of low capacity router chipsets

Spectrum Ethernet switch ASICs integrate rich VXLAN functionality with high capacity packet switching. Thanks to this silicon integration- Mellanox is able to provide feature rich VXLAN EVPN functionality at an affordable price. In addition, the base systems with Cumulus Linux come with dynamic routing protocols and EVPN VXLAN functionality built-in. There are no additional licenses needed.

Build your affordable EVPN VXLAN fabric that works with Mellanox Spectrum and Cumulus Linux.

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About Karthik Mandakolathur

Karthik is a Senior Director of Product Marketing at Mellanox. Karthik has been in the networking industry for over 15 years. Before joining Mellanox, he held product management and engineering positions at Cisco, Broadcom and Brocade. He holds multiple U.S. patents in the area of high performance switching architectures. He earned an MBA from The Wharton School, MSEE from Stanford and BSEE from Indian Institute of Technology.

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