I thought Edge Virtual Bridging (EVB) would be the technology transforming the kludgy vendor-specific VM-aware networking solutions into a properly designed architecture, but the launch of L2-over-IP solutions for VMware and Xen hypervisors is making EVB obsolete before it ever made it through the IEEE doors.
2020-12-26: The blog post was written in 2012, and I haven’t heard anyone talking about EVB for years, so maybe it’s truly dead by now, although it’s still supported by Linux bridge, and there might be a zombie or two lurking in a Juniper switch somewhere.
Meanwhile, IBM’s vSphere virtual switch was a total failure. It was so unimpressive that nobody noticed when it disappeared.
IEEE WG is still working on the draft; the major hypervisor vendors have already moved on – VMware has VXLAN, Microsoft has NVGRE and Xen/KVM have GRE+OpenFlow with Open vSwitch. As I predicted, the hypervisor vendors woke up, realized VLANs really don’t scale (there were a few old-school idiots yelling that message from their L3 ivory towers for the last few years, but nobody listened), and focused on implementing larger-scale virtualized networks with MAC-over-IP encapsulation.
And then there’s IBM: Its DVS 5000V is the first virtual switch supporting EVB/VEPA, as does its Virtual Fabric 10G switch module. It’s nice to see someone using standard technologies instead of proprietary solutions like Cisco’s VN-Tag or HP’s Virtual Connect (although IBM’s documentation indicates they might have implemented a 2 year old draft). According to the same documentation, the current EVB implementation in Virtual Fabric 10G switch module doesn’t support CDCP (a standard way of creating multiple NICs over the same uplink). A year ago I would have been excited; today I can’t help being reminded of ATM support on IBM Front End Processors.