Gandi Bar

Home > Hosting > Is 16 Million VLANs enough for you?

Is 16 Million VLANs enough for you?

Gandi is launching a revolutionary new product set this week. For the first time, a cloud service provider will offer a private VLAN using truly scalable, standards-compliant technology that will rock the cloud-computing world.

For our customers, it’s going to be yet another cool new feature that we make available in our web interface, letting advanced users of our Gandi VPS Cloud systems network using private VLANs. For the world of cloud computing, however, the impact will be far larger, since once it's proven and reviewed, we plan to eventually offer the technology to everyone, as open source software.

It’s been a growing problem with cloud computing: as the virtual servers multiply, the ability of network infrastructures to keep up with the load has been stressed to the breaking point. The main issues appear first at the edge of the envelope, as cloud server providers like Gandi scale up and up to serve more customers.

We have been able to increase compute power and flexibility over the past year, but the network’s ability to offer VLANs to link user instances over private segments ran up against the issues of VLAN exhaustion, lack of redundant paths, and the overloading of even top-of-the-line switching infrastructures with too many MAC addresses.

Now the barriers have fallen.

The limit of 4096 VLANs on a given switching fabric is blown away: it’s the square of 4096 now, over 16 million VLANs.

Redundancy of links is assured, and our MAC-in-MAC implementation of the TRILL RFC relieves the stress on switch table space.

What does all this mean? It means that Gandi once again is showing the world that when networking vendors fail to address a market need with reasonably priced solutions, innovative companies and people come together to develop open source solutions. Sorry, network vendors, we won’t be buying that SDN solution. We can innovate and make our existing network infrastructures really sing, replacing nothing, just implementing innovative open technology.

For our customers, we are releasing a beta version of the Gandi Private VLAN and Web Accelerator proxy later this week, free. We are limiting the trial to one VLAN, and two VPS servers on one Web Accelerator until we have your feedback on the awesome speed and functionality of this truly (r)evolutionary product.

To be included in the beta test, email us at

Read on for an in-depth description of the TRILL as implemented at Gandi.