Are you building a new data center fabric? Are you trying to decide whether to use VMware NSX or Cisco ACI? How about using EVPN solution from Arista, Brocade, Cisco, Cumulus Networks, Juniper or someone else? Can you use white-box switches with VMware NSX? Does it make sense to run VMware NSX on top of Cisco ACI?

In co-operation with DIGS, we had a joint ipSpace and NIL half-day, vendor independent workshop that answered all these questions (and many more).

The workshop was held during the DC & Cloud Day, which took place on 16th of May 2017 in Zurich.

Topics Covered

The workshop covered these major topics:

  • What do you really need – an overview of virtual and physical network services your data center fabric should provide, including physical transport infrastructure, virtual networks, and security services like micro-segmentation;
  • What do various products do? – An overview of what VMware NSX, Cisco ACI or a standard-based EVPN solution from Arista, Brocade, Cisco, Cumulus Networks or Juniper provides.
  • How could I implement various network services with these products?
  • How will my virtualized workload interact with the outside world? How will the VMs communicate with bare-metal servers?
  • How can I reduce the size of failure domains in my data center?
  • Can I use these products to build multi-pod or multi-DC environments?

Takeaways

Workshop attendees are now able to:

  • Identify the features offered by VMware NSX, Cisco ACI and EVPN-based data center fabrics from major data center vendors;
  • Select the product suitable for their environment based on the environment’s complexity, desired level of automation and self-service, and existing virtualization infrastructure;
  • Integrate products from multiple vendors into an optimal data center infrastructure.

About the Authors

Ivan Pepelnjak, CCIE#1354 Emeritus, is an independent network architect, book author, blogger and regular speaker at industry events like Troopers, DIGS, RIPE and regional NOG meetings. He has been designing and implementing large-scale service provider and enterprise networks since 1990, and is currently using his expertise to help multinational enterprises and large cloud- and service providers design next-generation data center and cloud infrastructure.

Ivan is the author of several books covering data center technologies, highly praised webinars, and dozens of data center and cloud-related technical articles published on his blog.

Mitja Robas, CCIE#12907, is a data center-focused IT architect working for NIL Data Communications. He has more than fifteen years of experience in designing, implementing and supporting high-demand data centers, and complex networks and virtualization solutions deployed all over the world. Apart from a field and consulting engineer role, he acts also as an instructor and content developer for specialized courses and workshops, sharing his knowledge with engineers around the world. Recently he's been focusing on all-flash storage, software defined networking and cloud computing, exercising his curiosity in testing and analyzing those solutions.

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