October 5, 2011

Network Virtualization with the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 2T

Within the campus, a single physical network infrastructure can carry multiple individual virtual (logical) networks, each created based on a set of policies. This is similar to the concept of server virtualization, where a single physical server can host multiple virtual machines (VMs).

By using the Cisco Catalyst 6500 with network virtualization to deploy and manage network resources as logical services, rather than physical resources, companies can:
  • Enhance enterprise agility
  • Improve network efficiency
  • Reduce capital and operational costs
  • Maintain high standards of security, scalability, manageability, and availability throughout the campus design
This paper offers tips and samples for configuring virtual network resources in your infrastructure.

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1 Comment

With sample configurations and scenarios, this paper teaches you how to virtualize your network infrastructure using the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switch with a Supervisor 2T engine.

By way of background: Enterprises generally use network virtualization to separate traffic flows based on such attributes as defined user groups, routing and security policies, and network-layer protocol (IPv4 vs. IPv6). Doing so more or less creates multiple “private” IP networks using a single physical network infrastructure. A big reason to do this is security, but there are also cost benefits: rather than building multiple physical networks to transport different traffic, network resources on a single infrastructure can be deployed and managed logically as separate flows.

Cisco recommends a holistic approach to designing a virtualized network with three main components to consider: access, including wireless; transport; and network services. It discusses various ways to segment transport paths using virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) instances, wireless service set identifier (SSID)/user groups, VLANs and VPNs, including MPLS VPNs. Sample command-line interface (CLI) commands are shown for different types of access and transport segmentation.

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