• Summary of Arista VxLAN Control Plane Options

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IP Multicast

Head End Replication (HER)

with static flood-set

CloudVision eXchange (CVX)

Ethernet VPN


– VTEPs within a VNI join a configured control plane multicast group.

– BUM traffic is sent to all VTEPs within the VNI over the configured multicast-group.

– Arista supports only multicast decapsulation to interop with third-party VTEP(s). HER will be used for BUM traffic encapsulation.  

– Underlay needs to be multicast capable which can possibly make the deployment limited.

– Recommended for deployments where Arista VTEPs need to interop with legacy third-party VTEPs that support only multicast underlay for BUM traffic handling.

– BUM traffic within a VNI is replicated and transmitted unicast to each of the VTEPs in the flood-list for that VNI.

– Replication carried out on the ingress VTEP.

– MAC address learning occurs via the standard flood and learn process.

– Flood-list needs to be manually configured on all the VTEPs.

– Flood-list needs to be edited on all the VTEPs when adding/removing VTEP(s).

– No requirement for IP multicast in the underlay.

– Recommended for small deployments where there’s a handful of VLANs and VTEPs, and in cases where flood-list changes are minimal.

– Locally learned MACs and VNI bindings are published to CVX.

– CVX dynamically distributes state to remote VTEPs.

– MAC address learning is via CVX control plane.

– Automated provisioning of each VTEP’s flood-list.

– No manual overhead of updating the flood-list when adding/removing VTEP(s).

– Reduction in flooded traffic, as there’s no flood and learn process.

– OVSDB support to allow easy integration with third-party controllers.

– HA Cluster support for resiliency.


– Recommended for both small and large deployments where manual flood-list configuration could be a overhead.

– Recommended for deployments where there’s a requirement to integrate with third-party controllers such as NSX, Nuage OpenStack, etc.,

– MP BGP is used to distribute local MAC address and MAC/IP bindings to VTEPs.

– HER is used for BUM traffic handling.

– Reduction in flooded traffic with ARP suppression in IRB mode. This facilitates more efficient use of underlay bandwidth.

– Dynamic MAC distribution, VNI learning and flood-list population; configuration can be BGP intensive.

– Support for third-party VTEP(s) with standards-based MP BGP approach.

– Operates outside the CVX model with distributed control plane (controller-less).

– Recommended for both small and large deployments where standards-based control plane is a requirement.



  1. RFC 7348
  2. VxLAN Multicast Decapsulation
  3. Head End Replication Configuration
  4. VxLAN Control Service
  5. CVX Deployment Recommendations for VxLAN Control Service
  6. EVPN Extension to BGP for VxLAN Control Plane
  7. RFC 8365

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