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VL2: A Scalable and Flexible Data Center Network


data center

VL2 is a practical network architecture that scales to support huge data centers with uniform high capacity between servers, performance isolation between services, and Ethernet layer-2 semantics.

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Michael Macfaden

Timely article, interest is growing in this space mainly due to growth of virtual machine deployments in data centers. The IETF has a new working group in the OPS area to define what the issues are scaling subnets (ARMD) in particular the ARP and ND protocols. There is effort to make Layer 2 itself more like layer 3 (TRILL) to better load the unused links between switches. Lastly this area of research isn't new. In prior decade, one network equipment vendor introduced a protocol to scale layer 2 and provide the much sought after "flexibility" to tens of thousands of hosts (RFC 2643), saw this in production at University of North Carolina.


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