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Expanding the Data Center Network



Jones Lang Lasalle (JLL) has been providing professional investment advice and solutions, specifically in the real estate space, for more than 250 years. They’ve built a trust with their partners and clients that’s founded upon their 70,000+ employees’ expertise, as well as their commitment to leverage best-in-breed technology.


AHEAD has been working with JLL for more than 8 years, and we’re deeply embedded in their IT environment. More recently, Jones Lang LaSalle was requesting assistance from our experts with expanding its Cisco VXLAN-based data center network in Lisle, Illinois.


The expansion involved attaching a new set of Cisco Nexus VXLAN spine switches to the existing spine layer. The expanded spine layer would then support a number of new top-of-rack leaf switches. These additional leaf switches facilitate migration of remaining data center hosts from the legacy network to the VXLAN fabric.

The Solution

AHEAD worked with JLL to review current data center network, up-to-date configurations, diagrams, and any other available documentation. Our experts then conducted independent dynamic analysis, including configuration gathering and dynamic state information gathering.


We collaborated to design for a new expansion VXLAN-based data center network in Lisle, Illinois, including:

  • Physical connectivity/cabling design.
  • Spine integration/connectivity design.
  • IP/VLAN/VXLAN addressing and assignment scheme for new VXLAN nodes and networks.

Our experts also deployed new VXLAN-based expansion fabric using out-of-band management network prior to attaching spine layer to existing production data center network:

  • Rack, cable, and power on all equipment per design.
  • Configured fabric per design phase using customized scripts via console and NX-API Developer Sandbox

This configuration included:

  • Up to 20 host ports per Client specifications.
  • VXLAN-to-VLAN mappings based on existing fabric configuration.
  • Dynamic routing, including MP-BGP EVPN control plane and EIGRP underlay.
  • Virtual Port Channel (vPC) domain aspects.
  • Loopbacks and L3 routing VLAN Switch Virtual Interfaces (SVI), per design.
  • Other VXLAN attributes required for operation.
  • Conducted pre-production operation and failover testing

This testing included:

  • Verifying operation of VXLAN expansion fabric by conducting test file transfer between two (2) attached endpoints.
  • Verifying ability of VXLAN expansion fabric to recovery from common types of failures.

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