What is the purpose of OTV (Overlay Transport Virtualization)?

Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) is a network virtualization technology designed to facilitate the extension of Layer 2 (L2) connectivity between geographically dispersed data centers. The primary purpose of OTV is to enable efficient and transparent communication between data centers, allowing them to function as a single, unified network.

Here are some key purposes and benefits of OTV:

  1. Data Center Interconnectivity: OTV enables the connection of multiple data centers, allowing them to share resources, workloads, and services seamlessly. This is particularly useful for organizations that have geographically distributed data centers and want to create a unified infrastructure.
  2. Layer 2 Extension: One of the main features of OTV is its ability to extend Layer 2 connectivity over an IP network. This means that devices within different data centers can be part of the same Layer 2 network, as if they were physically connected within the same facility.
  3. VM Mobility: Virtual Machine (VM) mobility becomes more flexible with OTV. VMs can move across data centers while maintaining their IP and MAC addresses. This facilitates workload mobility for load balancing, disaster recovery, and other operational requirements.
  4. Traffic Isolation and Segmentation: OTV allows for the segmentation and isolation of traffic between different data centers. This is essential for maintaining security and compliance requirements while still providing the benefits of a unified network.
  5. Scalability: OTV is scalable and can handle a large number of data centers and devices. It provides a way to grow the network infrastructure without the limitations associated with traditional Layer 2 interconnectivity methods.
  6. Fault Isolation: OTV helps in isolating faults within the network. If there's a problem in one data center, it can be contained without affecting the entire network. This enhances the overall reliability and availability of the network.
  7. Simplified Management: By providing a virtualized and abstracted layer for network connectivity, OTV simplifies network management. It abstracts the complexities of the underlying network infrastructure, making it easier for administrators to manage and troubleshoot.