In this blog post, I will be covering what is GENEVE tunneling and how it is different than VXLAN.

GENEVE “Generic Network Virtualization Encapsulation” is a tunneling protocol that has ability to encapsulate any kind of network traffic.  Yes, it’s possible because Geneve packet header contains field called as Protocol type. In the protocol type field, we can specify any protocol to encapsulate with GENEVE. In VXLAN Header’s the field Protocol type is not their hence VXLAN encapsulation only works with Ethernet/IP header.

Advantages of GENEVE over other tunneling techniques.

  • GENEVE encapsulate IP over UDP.
  • It Supports 2^24 Segments
  • Encapsulates any frame like IP/Ethernet, MPLS frame
  • Frame inception handles better compare to other tunneling techniques.
GENEVE Frame Format
VXLAN Frame Format

Additional metadata can be added to overlay headers and allows to improve context difference for processing information such as end-to-end telemetry, data tracking, encryption, security etc. on the data transferring layer. Additional information in the metadata is called TLV (Type, Length, Value). GENEVE is developed by VMware, Intel, Red Hat and Microsoft. GENEVE is based on the best concepts of VXLAN, STT and NVGRE encapsulation protocols.

Few useful links to know more about GENEVE and Other tunneling techniques.

To know more about other tunneling protocol :
GENEVE Draft ietf
†††More about Geneve from redhat
†Performance stats on VXLAN/GENEVE
https://blog.russellbryant.net/2017/05/30/ovn-geneve-vs-vxlan-does-it-matter/ †

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