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    Understanding EVPN Pure Route Type-5 on QFX Series Switches

    Ethernet VPN (EVPN), offers an end-to-end solution for data center Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) networks. A main application of EVPN is Data Center Interconnect (DCI), which provides the ability to extend Layer 2 connectivity between different data centers. EVPN uses the concept of route types to establish sessions between the provider edge and the customer edge. There are five route types. A type-5 route, also called the IP prefix route, is used to communicate between data centers (DC) when the Layer 2 connection does not extend across DCs and the IP subnet in a Layer 2 domain is confined within a single DC. In this scenario, the route type-5 enables connectivity across DCs by advertising the IP prefixes assigned to the VXLANs confined within a single DC. Data packets are sent as Layer 2 Ethernet frames encapsulated in the VLXAN header. Additionally, the gateway device for the DC must be able to perform Layer 3 routing and provide IRB functionality.

    Note: Only pure type-5 routes are supported. Support was added in Junos OS Release 15.1x53-D30 for QFX100002 switches only. Starting with Junos OS Release 15.1x53-D60, pure type-5 routes are also supported on QFX10008 and QFX10016 switches.

    A pure type-5 route operates without an overlay next hop or a type-2 route for recursive route resolution. With pure type-5 routing, the type-5 route is advertised with the MAC extended community so that the type-5 route provides all necessary forwarding information required for sending VXLAN packets in the data plane to the egress network virtual endpoint. You do not need to define IRB interfaces and use an IP address as an overlay next hop to interconnect Layer 3 virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) routes sitting in different data centers. Because no type-2 routes are used for route recursive resolution, this provisioning model is also called the IP-VRF-to-IP-VRF model without a core-facing IRB interface.

    Defining the Five EVPN-VXLAN Route Types

    The five EVPN-VXLAN route types are:

    • Route type-1, Ethernet autodiscovery route—Type-1 routes are for networkwide messages. Ethernet autodiscovery routes are advertised on a per end virtual identifier (EVI) and per Ethernet segment identifier (ESI) basis. The Ethernet autodiscovery routes are required when a customer edge (CE) device is multihomed. When a CE device is single-homed, the ESI is zero. This route type is supported by all EVPN switches and routers.

      An ESI can participate in more than one broadcast domain; for example, when a port is trunked. An ingress provider edge (PE) device that reaches the MAC on that ESI must have type-1 routes to perform split horizon and fast withdraw. Therefore, a type-1 route for an ESI must reach all ingress PE devices importing a virtual network identifier (VNI) or tag (broadcast domains) in which that ESI is a member. The Junos OS supports this by exporting a separate route target for the type-1 route.

    • Route type-2, MAC with IP advertisement route—Type-2 routes are per-VLAN routes, so only PEs that are part of a VNI need these routes. EVPN allows an end host’s IP and MAC addresses to be advertised within the EVPN Network Layer reachability information (NLRI). This allows for control plane learning of ESI MAC addresses. Because there are many type-2 routes, a separate route-target auto-derived per VNI helps to confine their propagation. This route type is supported by all EVPN switches and routers.
    • Route type-3, inclusive multicast Ethernet tag route—Type-3 routes are per-VLAN routes; therefore, only PE devices that are part of a VNI need these routes. An inclusive multicast Ethernet tag route sets up a path for broadcast, unknown unicast, and multicast (BUM) traffic from a PE device to the remote PE device on a per-VLAN, per-ESI basis. Because there are many type-3 routes, a separate route-target auto-derived per VNI helps in confining their propagation. This route type is supported by all EVPN switches and routers.

      Route type-4 Ethernet segment Route—An Ethernet segment identifier (ESI) allows a CE device to be multihomed to two or more PE devices—in single/active or active/active mode. PE devices that are connected to the same Ethernet segment discover each other through the ESI. This route type is supported by all EVPN switches and routers.

    • Route type-5 IP prefix Route—An IP prefix route provides encoding for inter-subnet forwarding. In the control plane, EVPN type-5 routes are used to advertise IP prefixes for inter-subnet connectivity across data centers. To reach a tenant using connectivity provided by the EVPN type-5 IP prefix route, data packets are sent as Layer 2 Ethernet frames encapsulated in the VXLAN header over the IP network across the data centers.

    Implementing Pure Type-5 Routes in an EVPN-VXLAN Environment

    You can use EVPN pure type-5 routes on QFX10000 switches to communicate between data centers through a Layer 3 network. See Figure 1. A unified EVPN control plane accomplishes L3 route advertisement between multiple data center locations so that you do not have to rely on an additional L3 VPN protocol family. On the customer edge (CE), hosts such as servers, storage devices, or any bare-metal devices are attached to leaf switches on the provider edge. Between those leaf devices, an MP-BGP session is established for EVPN routes to be used in the overlay control protocol. .

    Figure 1: EVPN-VXLAN Connection with Pure Type-5 Route Between Two Data Centers

    EVPN-VXLAN Connection
with Pure Type-5 Route Between Two Data Centers

    A global unique virtual network identifier (VNI) is provisioned for each customer L3 VRF and identifies the customer L3 VRF at the egress. A chassis MAC is used as the inner destination MAC (DMAC) for the VXLAN packet. The chassis MAC is shared among different customer L3 VRF instances

    Note: When a virtual machine (VM) moves from one QFX10000 data center to another, a route type-5 no longer works. This is because both the VXLAN and IP subnet that belong to the VM are no longer confined within a single data center.

    Note: For an example of communicating within a single data center without type-5 routing, see Example: Configuring IRB Interfaces in an EVPN-VXLAN Environment to Provide Layer 3 Connectivity for Hosts in a Data Center.

    Understanding Pure Type 5-Route Forwarding

    Pure type-5 route forwarding is also called the IP-VRF-to-IP-VRF (virtual routing and forwarding) model. In IP-based computer networks, Layer 3 VRF allows multiple instances of a routing table to coexist within the same router at the same time. Because the routing instances are independent, the same or overlapping IP addresses can be used without conflicting with each other. In this scenario, for a given tenant, such as an IP VPN service, a network virtualization edge (NVE) has one MAC VRF, which consists of multiple VXLANs (one VXLAN per VLAN). The MAC VRFs on an NVE for a given tenant are associated with an IP VRF corresponding to that tenant (or IP VPN service) through their IRB interfaces. A global unique VNI is provisioned for each customer Layer 3 VRF. The VNI is used to identify the Layer 3 VRF for the customer on each data center.

    Advantages of Using EVPN Pure Type-5

    There are two main advantages to using EVPN pure type-5 routing:

    • There is no need to exchange all host routes between data center locations. This results in smaller requirements for the routing information base (RIB), also know as the routing table, and the forwarding information base (FIB), also known as the forwarding table, on DCI equipment.
    • There is no need to use multiple protocol families, such as both EVPN and an L3 VPN, to advertise L2 and L3 reachability information.

    Best Practices and Caveats

    Best Practice: You can use pure route type-5 within a single data center to interconnect points of delivery (pods) as long as the IP prefix can be confined within the pod.

    Best Practice: Note that there are differences between EVPN VXLAN and EVPN MPLS. EVPN VXLAN exports a separate route target for type-1 routes. EVPN-MPLS exports the type-1 route with the collective set of route-targets of the VNI or tags (broadcast domains) in which the Ethernet segment identifier is participating.

    Note: You cannot use Contrail with pure route type-5.

    Modified: 2017-01-27