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Knowledge Base

L2 segments

By choosing Servers.com as a hosting provider for your applications, you retain control over the definition of your network environment. Whether it's the use of IP address spaces, creation of subnets, or floating IP addresses, you can have it.

Utilizing VXLAN technology, we have built the service called “L2 segments”. It gives our clients an option to use the data link layer (OSI Layer 2) over our Layer 3 Fabric network. With L2 segments, our clients can implement a lot of things otherwise available only in on-premises environments.

L2 segments use cases

Let's outline just a few of the use cases for L2 segments.

Network segmentation

The basic use case is the network segmentation, or subnetting. A single client can allocate multiple L2 segments and assign servers with different roles to different segments. As a result, servers with different roles will be in different networks. For example, the servers hosting a public website can be isolated from the servers running a CRM application. Subnetting is a way to better security within the network.

Floating IP addresses

A more complex use case involves floating IP addresses. Services demanding high availability may need to use floating IP addresses.

Floating IP address can be transferred between multiple servers allowing for a failover or upgrade of production software. For a floating IP address to be transferred between physical servers, data link layer connectivity is required between those servers.

Another scenario requiring floating IP addresses is the private cloud. Floating IP addresses allow for migration of a virtual server instance between physical servers in a virtualized environment. When a VM is moved to a new bare-metal server, the new server announces the takeover of an IP address of the moved VM, so that the VM remained reachable by its IP address regardless of physical location.

Custom IP addressing

L2 segments allow for custom IP addressing. Virtually any IP address space can be used within L2 segments to fulfill specific needs of proprietary or legacy software systems. L2 segments allow deploying clients' own DHCP and PXE servers.

Multicast

A lot of software relies on Ethernet multicast to reduce CPU and bandwidth consumption in one-to-many communications. Use cases include audio, video, and quote broadcasting. Multiplayer video game servers are another example. Game servers can use L2 broadcast segments for multicast communications.

L2 segments allow you to use Ethernet multicast.

Use of multiple L2 segments

Our clients can combine servers into multiple L2 segments within a data center, and one server can be a member of multiple L2 segments at the same time. Such a member will have one native VLAN link and multiple tagged trunks.

Ease of configuration

What is the best part about L2 segments in Servers.com? They are easily configurable. You just create them in the customer portal, add or remove servers from a segment – all with several clicks. No need to create support tickets and wait, no need to talk to a support engineer, no risk of human error.