Work is now ongoing in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) on a new protocol known as Geneve: Generic Network Virtualization Encapsulation protocol. Geneve could one day serve as a superset of capabilities that are today provided by VXLAN and NVGRE.
One of the leading contributors to the Geneve effort is VMware, which is seeking to advance the effort at the IETF and within its own products. In a video interview with Enterprise Networking Planet, Martin Casado, CTO of Networking at VMware, explained what Geneve is all about.
"If you look at network virtualization protocols like VXLAN or NVGRE, they really aren't focused on the problem of network virtualization being done on x86. They assume a switching chip is doing it," Casado said.
Casado added that VXLAN and NVGRE are very limited in that they only solve a small part of the larger network virtualization problem space. Geneve is a protocol built for x86 and merchant silicon.
"Even more important than that is the fact that the major software vendors in the world have agreed to it: Microsoft and VMware," Casado said. "These two companies don't always agree that the sun rises in the east, but they are getting behind this."
Geneve in its initial implementation is not particularly friendly to hardware vendors, but Casado expects that to change in the second version of Geneve, currently being developed.
Watch the full video interview with Martin Casado below:
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist