A while ago I had an interesting discussion with someone running VMware NSX on top of VXLAN+EVPN fabric - a pretty common scenario considering:
- NSX’s insistence on having all VXLAN uplink from the same server in the same subnet;
- Data center switching vendors being on a lemming-like run praising EVPN+VXLAN;
- Non-FANG environments being somewhat reluctant to connect a server to a single switch.
His fabric was running well… apart from the weird times when someone started tons of new VMs.
A. Friend sent me a long list of questions after listening to excellent Future of Networking podcast with Martin Casado because (as he said) he prefers “having a technical discussion with arguments and not just throwing statements out there.”
He started with “Martin's view seems to be that network is all plumbing and all the intelligence should be in the applications.”
Dumlu Timuralp (@dumlutimuralp) sent me an excellent question:
I always get confused when thinking about IP multicast traffic over VXLAN tunnels. Since VXLAN already uses a Multicast Group for layer-2 flooding, I guess all VTEPs would have to receive the multicast traffic from a VM, as it appears as L2 multicast. Am I missing something?
Short answer: no, you’re absolutely right. IP multicast over VXLAN is clearly suboptimal.
A long-time reader has sent me an intriguing question: “would IP multicast work between DMVPN spokes?” In theory, the answer is “we could make it work”, but we all known theory and practice are not the same thing.
To make IP multicast work between DMVPN spokes, you’d need to configure multicast propagation between them with the ip nhrp map multicast remote-spoke-NBMA command. In a small DMVPN network where you need IP multicast only between a handful of spokes, that might even work; obviously this trick does not scale for a number of reasons: