The Cisco Nexus 3600 platform switches are designed for a hardware-based Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) function. These switches can extend Layer 2 connectivity across the Layer 3 boundary and integrate between VXLAN and non-VXLAN infrastructures. Virtualized and multitenant data center designs can be shared over a common physical infrastructure.
VXLANs enable you to extend Layer 2 networks across the Layer 3 infrastructure by using MAC-in-UDP encapsulation and tunneling. In addition, you can use a VXLAN to build a multitenant data center by decoupling tenant Layer 2 segments from the shared transport network.
When deployed as a VXLAN gateway, the Cisco Nexus 3600 platform switches can connect VXLAN and classic VLAN segments to create a common forwarding domain so that tenant devices can reside in both environments.
A VXLAN has the following benefits:
Flexible placement of multitenant segments throughout the data center.
It extends Layer 2 segments over the underlying shared network infrastructure so that tenant workloads can be placed across physical pods in the data center.
Higher scalability to address more Layer 2 segments.
A VXLAN uses a 24-bit segment ID called the VXLAN network identifier (VNID). The VNID allows a maximum of 16 million VXLAN segments to coexist in the same administrative domain. (In comparison, traditional VLANs use a 12-bit segment ID that can support a maximum of 4096 VLANs.)
Utilization of available network paths in the underlying infrastructure.
VXLAN packets are transferred through the underlying network based on its Layer 3 header. It uses equal-cost multipath (ECMP) routing and link aggregation protocols to use all available paths.