Q&A: What are Alternatives to GRE Tunnels?


  • What are some Alternatives to GRE Tunnels?
  • Due to the issues outlined on GRE Path MTU Discovery and the inability for service providers to provide SLAs to GRE tunnel availability, customers may seek alternatives to GRE tunnels for clean traffic delivery.
  • The alternatives are outlined below.



  • Silverline DDoS Protection
    • Routed



Equinix Cloud Exchange

For customer's that are in the same Equinix locations we are (SJC, DCA, FRA, LON, & SIN), Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX) is a great alternative to GRE.  The cost is fairly low and it plumbs a VLAN directly into Silverline from the customer, with no encapsulation to deal with.  

Additionally, ECX has expanded in many geographies to allow remote connections to the Silverline facilities.  For example, if a customer were in Equinix Paris or Equinix Dallas, they could provision ECX connections to F5 Silverline as though they were located in the same facility.

The Silverline configuration guide can be found here: Equinix Cloud Exchange Silverline Configuration Guide

More information can be found here: Equinix Cloud Exchange



Outside of Equinix, L2VPN is the next most likely option where we partner with GTT & PCCW to provide an MPLS/Ethernet connection between F5 Silverline and the customer location.  The cost associated with this is clearly higher than GRE (free) and ECX (pretty cheap) and requires the customer connect in a GTT circuit (or two) to their facility. The cost for connectivity into GTT would be carried by the customer exclusively, not through F5.

If customers are interested in a service offering from GTT or PCCW, please contact the SOC and we will coordinate a discussion with F5, GTT/PCCW and the customer to review options, quoting, and implementation tasks.

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