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Introducing FlexPod With Avian Carrier

By Melissa Palmer, Solutions Architect, NetApp

One of the core tenants of the FlexPod program here at NetApp is providing a flexible architecture to provide choice for our customers.  Over the last several years, we’ve had a number of requests from customers to create a FlexPod that allows the use of IETF RFC 1149 for the encapsulation of IP datagrams.  We’ve named this solution FlexPod With Avian Carrier.

Why RFC 1149 you ask?  Simple.  Avian Carriers have a long history of transmitting crucial data, beginning over 3,000 years ago.  Customers can now integrate this proven technology in a number of ways into their FlexPod environment.

Topology Avian Carrier

The FlexPod team validated a number of integration points as you can see in the above image.  Some of the most popular use cases we have seen so far are booting ESXi hosts via Avian Carrier, as well as the uplink between the Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects and the Cisco Nexus switches.  NetApp recommends ensuring IETF 2549 – IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Service is used between the Cisco components due to the potential traffic between the two devices.

We also developed a number of helpful tips during our testing:

  • Carefully tend to the health of avian carriers to ensure packets are not dropped.
  • Carefully monitor distance between components, as Avian Carriers may be distracted by spiders or shiny objects. This may increase latency.
  • Do not buy Avian Carriers on sale.

For more information integrating Avian Carriers into your FlexPod environment, and more helpful tips, be sure to check out NetApp TR-4581: FlexPod With Avian Carrier.

Please note, no avian carriers were harmed during the testing and validation of this design & happy April Fool’s Day!

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Melissa PalmerSolutions Architect, NetApp
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