Category: multicast

VMware NSX Killed My EVPN Fabric

I had an interesting discussion with someone running VMware NSX on top of VXLAN+EVPN fabric a while ago. That’s 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;
  • The reluctance of non-FAANG environments to connect a server to a single switch.

Apart from the weird times when someone started tons of new VMs, his fabric was running well.

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VM-level IP Multicast over VXLAN

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.

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Spoke-to-Spoke IP Multicast over DMVPN?

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 know 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:

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