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Data Center Design Questions

Dear Members,

We are running traditional Data center as of now having 3 tier set up ( Core,Distribution and Access Layer).

My customer has plan to upgrade it to either ACI or VXLAN/EVPN.

Can I know what are the pros and cons of each solution?

2 REPLIES 2
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Enthusiast

Hi maninder.negi@intl.verizon.com,

 

That is a pretty broad question without context but here are some highlights off the top of my head:

 

ACI (which is basically VXLAN under the hood)

Pros

- Turnkey (VXLAN) fabric (simplified installation, turn up, and operations managed by the controllers) providing both the underlay and the overlay

- Centralized management - You manage all fabric configuration and policy from the APIC controllers

- Centralized visibility - The controller gives you a unified view of your entire fabric.

- Integrations with your virtualization solution (VMWARE etc.) to facilitate rapid provisioning and consistent policy 

- Highly Scalable and supports Multi Site deployments

- Built for Automation

- Mature

- Extensive cloud support

- Multi tenant and security policy "ready"

 

Cons

- Ties you to a specific Vendor (you can decide how important that is for you)

- There is a learning curve (but well worth it in my opinion)

EVPN
Pros

- You can decouple your underlay from your overlay 

- You can basically build this with any vendors hardware 

- Lets you pick your underlay protocols

- Probably less of a learning curve and some "comfort" given that you are likely using the boxes you are used to today.

 

Cons

- You are back to box by box configuration unless you use something like DCNM (this capability is relatively new - Google "DCNM evpn fabric" to get a feel for that)

- You have to manage your underlay and your overlay

- You have to manage all other integrations

 

If you already have an overlay technology (say NSX) then a DCNM deployed/controlled fabric or a do-it-all-yourself fabric might edge out ACI if the ACI learning curve was a concern (either option has a learning curve typically).  I've deployed NSX over ACI so it certainly works.  

 

At this point its important to understand what you are trying to do (or what your customer is trying to do).  Don't let them shy away from ACI because it seems difficult!  It really is not.  Understand their goals and requirements.

 

I wrapped up an ACI build early this year.  Initially my customer was wary of ACI.  When we wrapped up they told me that they were now in a position to really have a competitive advantage in their space.  

 

 

Highlighted
VIP Engager

Hi Maninder,

 

I would recommend you the following two CiscoLive presentation:

Building DataCenter Networks with VXLAN BGP EVPN - BRKDCN-3378

VXLAN EVPN day-2 operation - BRKDCN-2450

 

Both sessions (video and presentation) are available on ciscolive.com

After you will watch these two, you will see in more details the advantages and disadvantages of each technology, and which one is working best for your environment. 

 

Cheers,

Sergiu

 

 

 

 

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