Data Center Design with Active Active design (2023)

Data Center Design with Active Active design (1)

The challenge of Data Center design is “Layer 2 is weak & IP is not mobile.”

In the past, best practices recommended that networks from distinct data centers should be connected through Layer 3 ( routing ), isolating the know Layer 2 turmoil. However, the business is driving the application requirements, changing the connectivity requirements between data centers. The need for Active / Active data centers has been driven by the following.

    • a) Increased dependence on East-West traffic
    • b) Clustered Applications
    • c) Multi-Tenancy
    • d) Business Continuity
    • d) Workload Mobility

It is generally recommended to have Layer 3 connections with path separation through Multi-VRF, P2P VLANs, or MPLS/VPN. Yet, some applications cannot function over a Layer 3 environment. For example, most geo clusters require Layer 2 adjacency between their nodes, whether for heartbeat and connection ( status and control synchronization ) state information or the requirement to share virtual IP. MAC addresses to facilitate traffic handling in case of failure. However, some clustering products ( Veritas, Oracle RAC ) support communication over Layer 3 but are a minority and don’t represent the general case.

(Video) 15 Active Active Data Center Design

Data Center Design and VM Migration

Virtual Machine migration between data centers increases application availability, and Layer 2 network adjacency between ESX hosts is currently required, and a consistent LUN must be maintained for stateful migration. In other words, if the VM loses its IP address, it will lose its state, and the TCP sessions will drop, resulting in a cold migration ( VM does a reboot ) instead of a hot migration ( VM does not reboot ).

As a result of the stretched VLAN requirement, data center architects started to deploy traditional Layer 2 over the DCI and, unsurprisingly, were faced with interesting results. Although flooding and broadcasts are necessary for IP communication in Ethernet networks, they can become dangerous in a DCI environment. Traffic tromboning can also be formed between two stretched data centers, which is why nonoptimal internal routing happens within extended VLANs. Traffic tromboning can affect either ingress or egress traffic. On egress, you can have FHRP filtering to isolate the HSRP partnership and provide an active/active setup for HSRP. On ingress, you can have GSLB, Route Injection, and LISP.

To overcome many of these problems, virtualization technologies can be used for Layer 2 extensions between data centers. They include vPC, VSS, Fabric Path, VPLS, and OTV. In summary, we have different technologies that can be used for LAN extensions, and the main mediums in which they can be deployed are Ethernet, MPLS, and IP.

    1. Ethernet: VSS and vPC or Fabric Path
    2. MLS: EoMPLS and A-VPLS and H-VPLS
    3. IP: OTV

Ethernet Extensions and Multi-Chassis EtherChannel ( MEC )

Requires protected DWDM or direct fibers and works between two data centers only. It cannot support multi-datacenter topology i.e., full mesh of data centers, but it can support hub and spoke topologies.

(Video) 16 Active DR Data Center Design

Previously, LAG could only terminate on one physical switch. Both VSS-MEC and vPC are port-channeling concepts extending link aggregation to two separate physical switches. This allows for the creation of L2 typologies based on link aggregation, which eliminates the dependency on STP, thus allowing you to scale available Layer 2 bandwidth by bonding the physical links.

Because vPC and VSS create a single connection from an STP perspective, disjoint STP instances can be deployed in each data center. Such isolation can be achieved with BPDU Filtering on the DCI links or Multiple Spanning Tree ( MST ) region on each site. At the time of writing vPC does not support Layer 3 peering, but if you want an L3 link, create one as this does not need to run on dark fiber or protected DWDM, unlike the extended Layer 2 links.

Cisco validated design

Cisco has validated this design, and it is freely available on the Cisco site. In summary, they have tested a variety of combinations such as VSS-VSS, VSS-vPV, and vPC-vPC and validated the design with 200 Layer 2 VLANs and 100 SVIs or 1000 VLANs and 1000 SVI with static routing. At the time of writing, the M series for the Nexus 7000 supports native encryption of Ethernet frames through the IEEE 802.1AE standard. This implementation uses Advanced Encryption Standard ( AES ) cipher and a 128-bit shared key.

(Video) Active-Active vs Active-Passive Cluster to Achieve High Availability in Scaling Systems

Ethernet extension and Fabric path

The fabric path allows network operators to design and implement a scalable Layer 2 fabric allowing VLANs to help reduce the physical constraints on server location. It provides a high availability design with up to 16 active paths at layer 2, each path a 16-member port-channel for Unicast and Multicast. This enables the MSDC networks to have flat typologies, separating nodes by a single hop ( equidistant endpoints ). Cisco has not targeted Fabric Path as a primary DCI solution as it does not have specific DCI functions compared to OTV and VPLS. Its primary purpose is for Clos-based architectures. But if you have the requirement to interconnect 3 or more sites, the Fabric path is a valid solution when you have short distances between your DCs via high-quality point-to-point optical transmission links. Your WAN links must support Remote Port Shutdown and micro flapping protection. By default, OTV and VPLS should be the first solutions considered as they are Cisco Validated Design with specific DCI features, e.g., OTV can flood unknown unicast for specific VLANs.

IP core with Overlay Transport Virtualization ( OTV ).

OTV provides a dynamic encapsulation with multipoint connectivity of up to 10 sites ( NX-OS 5.2 supports 6 sites and NX-OS 6.2 supports 10 sites )

OTV, also known as Over-The-Top virtualization, is a specific DCI technology enabling Layer 2 extension across data center sites by employing a MAC in IP encapsulation with built-in loop prevention and failure boundary preservation. There is no data plane learning. Instead, all unicast and multicast learning between sites is facilitated via the overlay control plane ( Layer 2 IS-IS ) that runs on top of the provider’s network. OTV is supported on the Nexus 7000 since the 5.0 NXOS Release and ASR 1000 since the 3.5 XE Release.

(Video) Active Active vs Active Passive High Availability Cluster

OTV as a DCI has robust high availability, and most failures can be sub-sec convergence with only extreme and very unlikely failures such as device down resulting in <5 seconds

Locator ID/Separator Protocol ( LISP)

Locator ID/Separator Protocol ( LISP) has a lot of applications and, as the name suggests, separates the location and the identifier of the network hosts, making it possible for VMs to move across subnet boundaries while still retaining their IP address. LISP works well when you have to move workloads and also when you have to distribute workloads across data centers, making it a perfect complementary technology for an active-active data center design. It provides you with:

  • a) Global IP-Mobility across subnets for disaster recovery and cloud bursting ( without LAN extension ) and optimized routing across extended subnet sites.
  • b) Routing with Extended subnets for Active / Active data centers and distributed clusters ( with LAN extension).

LISP answers the problems with ingress and egress traffic tromboning. It has a location mapping table, so when a host move is detected, updates are automatically triggered, and ingress routers (ITRs or PITRs) send traffic to the new location. From an ingress path flow inbound on the WAN perspective, LISP can answer the limited problems we have with BGP in controlling ingress flows. Without LISP, we are limited to specific route filtering, meaning if you have a PI Prefix consisting of a /16. If you break this up and advertise into 4 x /18, you may still get poor ingress load balancing on your DC WAN links; even if you were to break this up to 8 x /19, the results might still be unfavorable. LISP works differently than BGP because a LISP proxy provider would advertise this /16 for you ( you don’t advertise the /16 from your DC WAN links ) and send traffic at 50:50 to our DC WAN links. LISP can get a near-perfect 50:50 conversion rate at the DC edge.

(Video) Reali Life BGP in the Datacenter Design and Deployment

Data Center Design with Active Active design (2)

FAQs

What is an active-active data center? ›

The term active-active refers to the use of at least two data centers where both can service an application at any time, so each functions as an active application site.

Which logical consideration should be addressed when planning the design of a data center? ›

When designing a data center the primary concerns are reliability, performance, scalability, the ability to support both current and future applications and speeds, and cost. Throw in the desire to make it green and energy efficient, and you have a lot of parameters that need to be addressed.

How the data Centres can be designed? ›

The principal goals in data center design are flexibility and scalability, which involve site location, building selection, floor layout, electrical system design, mechanical design and modularity. Data center facilities rarely achieve the operational and capacity requirements specified in their initial designs.

What is active/passive datacenter? ›

An active-passive site consists of an active and a passive data center. This deployment type is ideal for disaster recovery. In this type of deployment, some of the sites (remote sites) are reserved only for disaster recovery. These sites do not participate in any decision making until all the active sites are DOWN.

What is Active-Active mode? ›

In Active/Active mode, two or more servers aggregate the network traffic load, and working as a team, they distribute it to the network servers. The load balancers can also remember information requests from users and keep this information in cache.

What is Active-Active architecture? ›

The Active-Active failover architecture duplicates complete FME Server installations on separate servers. In other words, all components reside on the same system, and additional systems are configured similarly and provide similar functionality.

What makes a data center successful? ›

Successful data centers have well-documented methods and procedures along with activity monitoring and controls to assure policies are followed. Aside from direct observation via live data center tours, this is displayed through the center's emphasis on training, communication, collaboration and continuous improvement.

What are the most important principles of data center? ›

Switches provide both Layer 2 and Layer 3 topologies, fulfilling the various servers broadcast domain or administrative requirements.
  • Principle 1: Space Savings.
  • Principle 2: Reliability.
  • Principle 3: Manageability.
16 Nov 2016

What are the main components of data center? ›

Key data center components include:
  • Servers.
  • Racks.
  • Network connectivity infrastructure.
  • Security measures and appliances.
  • Monitoring structures.
  • Storage infrastructure.
  • Cooling and air flow systems (as well as fire protection)
  • Policies to maintain efficiency, security and performance.

What is the purpose of a data center? ›

A data center is a facility that centralizes an organization's shared IT operations and equipment for the purposes of storing, processing, and disseminating data and applications. Because they house an organization's most critical and proprietary assets, data centers are vital to the continuity of daily operations.

What are data center requirements? ›

The facility should have connections to multiple power grids to ensure redundancy. In the event of a power shortage that takes out all grids, the data center should have batteries or flywheels. The center needs a proper fire suppression system and environmental controls.

What is a benefit of the active/active cluster implementation? ›

Advantages of Active-Active Clustering

The deployment of Active-Active clustering offers the following benefits: It provides high availability data architecture to annihilate a single point of failure, ensuring the full-time response of mission-critical applications, solutions, systems, and databases.

What is active-active server setup? ›

An active-active cluster is typically made up of at least two nodes, both actively running the same kind of service simultaneously. The main purpose of an active-active cluster is to achieve load balancing.

What is an active-active application? ›

In an active-active application tier topology, two or more active server instances at distributed geographic locations are deployed to handle requests concurrently and thereby improve scalability and provide high availability.

What is difference between active active and active standby? ›

In Active/Standby Configuration, only one node is in active mode while the other is in standby mode. When an issue is identified on the Active system, the standby node will take the place of the active node without any changes on the last state until such time the issue is resolved.

What is active active in AWS? ›

Simply put, a multi-region active-active architecture gets all the services on the client request path deployed across multiple AWS Regions. In order to do so, several requirements have to be fulfilled. Data replication between regions must be fast and reliable.

What is active active load balancing? ›

In an active-active configuration, the load balancer spreads out the workload's traffic among multiple nodes. Distribution may be equal, called symmetrical distribution, or uneven –asymmetrical -- depending on the computing power of each node or how an administrator prefers for the active-active cluster to behave.

Is Kubernetes active-active? ›

Kubernetes makes running your own applications with high availability easier, but it is not automatic.

How do you check if the cluster is active-active or active passive? ›

Simple two-node, for Active-Passive cluster, only a single SQL Server instance is running. For Active-Active cluster, both SQL Server instances are running on each physical node of the cluster.

What is passive and active design? ›

Passive design is a system or structure that directly uses natural energy such as sunlight, wind, temperature differences or gravity to achieve a result without electricity or fuel. Active design is a system or structure that uses or produces electricity.

What is active-active replication? ›

Active/Active replication is the process of keeping two or more live databases in-sync with each other and is used for high availability, load balancing and performance.

What is active-active load balancing? ›

In an active-active configuration, the load balancer spreads out the workload's traffic among multiple nodes. Distribution may be equal, called symmetrical distribution, or uneven –asymmetrical -- depending on the computing power of each node or how an administrator prefers for the active-active cluster to behave.

What is active-active cluster in SQL Server? ›

Active-Active is normally used to denote a multi-node Windows Server Failover Cluster that has multiple SQL Server instances installed, where each node has a separate instance. If you would like to configure Active-Active Clustering, you need to create a new SQL Server instance in your passive node.

What is an active-active application? ›

In an active-active application tier topology, two or more active server instances at distributed geographic locations are deployed to handle requests concurrently and thereby improve scalability and provide high availability.

What is active-active in AWS? ›

Simply put, a multi-region active-active architecture gets all the services on the client request path deployed across multiple AWS Regions. In order to do so, several requirements have to be fulfilled. Data replication between regions must be fast and reliable.

What is a benefit of the active/active cluster implementation? ›

Advantages of Active-Active Clustering

The deployment of Active-Active clustering offers the following benefits: It provides high availability data architecture to annihilate a single point of failure, ensuring the full-time response of mission-critical applications, solutions, systems, and databases.

What is active-active server setup? ›

An active-active cluster is typically made up of at least two nodes, both actively running the same kind of service simultaneously. The main purpose of an active-active cluster is to achieve load balancing.

How do you check if the cluster is active-active or active passive? ›

Simple two-node, for Active-Passive cluster, only a single SQL Server instance is running. For Active-Active cluster, both SQL Server instances are running on each physical node of the cluster.

Is Kubernetes active-active? ›

Kubernetes makes running your own applications with high availability easier, but it is not automatic.

What is active active and active/passive cluster? ›

Introduction. Active/passive clustering is a concept that uses clustering software and special purpose hardware to minimize system downtime. Active/passive clusters are groups of computing resources that are implemented to provide high availability of software and hardware computing services.

How do I apply a patch to an active active cluster in SQL Server? ›

How to patch SQL in a Active/Active Cluster
  1. Failover node 2 ressources to node 1.
  2. Log on node 1 and install the SP2 on the two instances.
  3. Failover node 1 and node 2 ressources to node 2.
  4. Reboot node 1.
  5. Log on node 2 and install the SP2 on the two instances.
  6. Failover node 2 and node 1 ressources to node 1.
24 Apr 2008

Is Oracle RAC active active? ›

Oracle RAC uses an active-active architecture that enables multiple database instances, each running on different nodes, to simultaneously read and write to the same database.

Videos

1. Active-Active Application Architectures: Become a MongoDB Multi-Data Center Master
(MongoDB)
2. Active-Active Geo-Replication Features in Redis Enterprise
(Redis)
3. Multi-Datacenter DB Active-Active
(F5 DevCentral)
4. SIGS and Ivan's Workshop Using VXLAN And EVPN To Build Active-Active Data Centers
(Gerber Gabi)
5. How to design Highly Available Architecture? | High Availability & Disaster Recovery | Tech Primers
(Tech Primers)
6. Using VXLAN To Span One Data Center Across Two Locations
(Packet Pushers)
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