Cisco uses LISP to articulate programmability

By , Network World |  Virtualization, Cisco, Lisp

Network virtualization is one of the hotter trends in the industry today, and when Cisco speaks to it you hear a distinct LISP.

Not the speech impediment, mind you - but the Location/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP), which the company authored in 2009. LISP describes a method for reducing the number of entries in the BGP routing tables of core routers when enterprises split traffic among multiple carriers.

LISP proposes a "map and encapsulate" tunneling mechanism to be used by the Internet's edge and core routers. The protocol logically separates a block of IP addresses that a company advertises into two functions: one for identifying the systems using the IP addresses; and the other for locating where these systems connect to the Internet.

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The idea behind the routing locator and identifier separation in an IP address is that it allows LISP-enabled edge routers to aggregate the location information, so less of it needs to be stored in the core routers.

This makes LISP beneficial for the following applications, proponents say: multihoming; mobility; improved scalability; customer-managed VPN provisioning; and network virtualization, among others. For network virtualization in particular, LISP allows mobile endpoints, for example, to keep their identification while changing locations. The separated IP address becomes a virtual Layer 3 overlay abstracted from the physical network topology.

Essentially, you do the same thing with an IP address that you do with a cell number when you roam to a different network or change providers - even though your location changes, your number stays the same. With this, a user can create a VPN over the top of two different service provider networks, Cisco officials say, and allow devices to more seamlessly roam between Wi-Fi and 3G networks.

NJEDge.Net, is a non-profit technology consortium of academic and research institutions in New Jersey, is using LISP as a virtual network overlay between different ISPs in a multi-homing arrangement.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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