The release and support of VXLAN has raised a great level of interest in the community. As one of the first to deliver content with regards to VXLAN implementation examples I’ve been approach by customer and colleagues with questions around VXLAN architecture designs and use cases. For the most part, I see there is a large audience not really up to speed with the logistics of VXLAN as it relates to vSphere and vCloud infrastructures supported implementation scenarios. The knowledge gap is not entirely around the value of VXLAN technology but more around the architectures and uses cases where it can successfully be used today.
Based on my experiences lately, the use of VXLAN becomes the topic of conversation whenever connecting multiple data centers where each site has separate vSphere/vCloud Infrastructure becomes to topic of conversation. I can see how some folks have been mislead into thinking VXLAN is the answer for that as they can now leverage VXLAN to connect multiple vCenter Server and vCloud Director infrastructure together today. Well the truth is that plain and simple VXLAN CANNOT be use as the technology to connect multiple vCenter Server and vCloud Director environments today.
The reality is that with the current release of VXLAN there is no supported way of connecting multiple vSphere or vCloud Infrastructures together. Considering the platforms architectures and components both vSphere and vCloud based infrastructures have a lot of dependencies and moving parts which makes it very challenging to integrate in a way that would make that possible today. From what I understand this is something that all of the partners involved with the development of the VXLAN technology are looking to address soon.
One of the publications which I have found a lot of people reading and using as guidance for vCloud Director is the vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT). As part of the vCAT implementation examples we have included a couple of VXLAN scenarios one of them being around disaster recovery and based on conversation this very topic I’ve noticed that some people have overlooked or missed one critical piece of the information discussed and illustrated as part of that example.
As one of the contributors to the vCloud Architecture Toolkit (vCAT) I have to come out and defend some of the misconceptions folks are gathering around the VXLAN implementation example in vCAT topic. The VXLAN disaster recovery example scenario is based around a stretched cluster scenario, and not two separate infrastructures. Two physical data centers in two different locations with one logical datacenter (vSphere/vCloud) spanning both physical data centers.