One goal of the talk was to provide fairly solid coverage of VPC and FEX (Nexus 2000) designs and best practices. Another theme was that the VN-Tags (former Cisco term) and VN-Link technology present in the Nexus 2K FEX are logically present in the Cisco 1000v, and literally present in the Cisco NIC adapter technologies named Adapter-FEX and VM-FEX. These provide per-host and per-VM virtualization of a NIC, allowing the logical interfaces to then be configured on the attached Nexus 5500 switch. In effect the NIC (or “VIC”) behaves somewhat like a hardware-based version of the Nexus 1000v, with the Nexus 5K doing the switching in hardware.
The talk also briefly touched on somewhat related topics such as OpenFlow and VXLAN, mostly via discussion and whiteboarding not reflected in the slides. Active questions from the audience covered a lot of ground as well. (Great turnout — I’m honored that so many chose to spend their morning listening!)
For a PDF of the presentation, please download Designing for VPC, FEX and Datacenter Virtualization . (14.1 MB BIG download due to all the graphics!)