MLAG vs. vPC: What's the Difference?
What Is MLAG?
The Working Principle of MLAG
Benefits of MLAG
Traffic is evenly distributed to each of the switches through the use of LAG hashing.
Simply bundle more links into the LAG to increase bandwidth for North & South as well as East & West
Offers stability with dual management and control planes
Able to upgrade one switch at a time without affecting other devices
Expands port capacity freely and simply adds another switch East or West by creating another MLAG to another switch
What Is vPC?
The Working Principle of vPC
Benefits of vPC
Allows a single device to use a Port Channel across two upstream devices
Eliminates Spanning Tree Protocol blocked ports
Provides a loop-free topology
Uses all available uplink bandwidth
Provides fast convergence if either the link or a device fails
Provides link-level resiliency
Helps ensure high availability
MLAG vs. vPC: 4 Key Differences
Difficulty of implementation
Another issue is compatibility. For vPC pairing, the same type of Cisco Nexus switches must be used. For example, it is not possible to configure vPC on a pair of switches including a Nexus 7000 series and a Nexus 5000 series switch. And the vPC peers must run the same NX-OS version except during the non-disruptive upgrade, that is, the In-Service Software Upgrade (ISSU).
Normally, vPC can only be used on Cisco Nexus data center switches, while MLAG can be applied to a wide range of scenarios. Whether in a traditional 3-tier data center architecture or a 2-tier spine-leaf architecture, switches that support MLAG can form an MLAG pair at different layers. All FS data center switches support MLAG. By using MLAG in data center network design, FS data center switches help deliver system level redundancy and improve network reliability.
|Simplifies Network Design||Yes||Yes|
|Eliminates Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)||Yes||Yes|
|Multipathing||Layer 2||Layer 2 & Layer 3|
|Difficulty of Implementation||Easier||Relatively Difficult|
|Switch Type for Pairing||No requirement||Strict Requirements|
|Using Scenarios||Common seen in distribution or data center switches||Usually in Cisco Nexus data center switches|