“Ethernet Fabrics” or a “Data Centre Fabrics” have been much discussed and presented in the last couple of years. A Fabric is a good term for wide range of design methods, technologies and vendors technologies that build a new type of Ethernet network for the Data Centre – and they all compete for customer attention.
This event is a discussion between multiple vendors and independent voices on the how “Fabrics” can fit into your future strategy.
On March 28, 2012 the industry will come together at the Data Center Fabric Symposium! This all-day in-person event features panelists from key networking vendors and their finest technical minds. The discussion will be moderated by independent experts such as Greg Ferro, Ivan Pepelnjak and Stephen Foskett.
The Data Center Fabric Symposium will be held in San Jose immediately preceding Networking Field Day 3. It will be streamed live from the Tech Field Day site and will include many of the Networking Field Day delegates. Free tickets for seating will be made available soon if you would like to attend in person!
Order of the Day
10:00-12:00 – Morning Session
- 10:00 – Welcome and Introduction by Stephen Foskett and Greg Ferro
- 10:15 – Panelist Presentations
- Each panelist gives a short presentation followed by a short Q&A session
- 11:30 – Open Discussion and Audience Q&A
- 12:00 – Morning session close
12:00-14:00 – Break/Lunch
- 12:00 – Closed Press and Analyst Q&A
- 12:30 – Break/Lunch
14:00-16:00 – Technology Deep-Dive Sessions
- 14:00 – Welcome and Introduction by Stephen Foskett
- 14:15 – Session 1 –Define “Fabric” – Hosted by Greg Ferro
- 14:45 – Session 2 – Converged Storage by Stephen Foskett
- 15:15 – Session 3 – Multipath versus Multi-chassis – by Greg Ferro
- 16:00 Session 4: Hard Cores / Soft Edges by Ivan Pepelnjak
- 16:35 – Session Close by Stephen Foskett
- 16:40 – Wrap Up and “Network Beers“
Topics of Discussion
Building a data center fabric is a major challenge to the status quo. Some elements are standardized (TRILL, Fibre Channel, DCB, FCoE) but there are numerous approaches to implementation. The Symposium will present an overview of the reasons behind data center fabrics, including the challenges of mobility and changes to the traditional hub and spoke network architecture.
The Symposium includes discussion of a wide variety of data center fabric technologies:
- Ethernet Fabrics
- Converged Storage
- Multipath and Multichassis Technologies
- Software and Hardware switching
Session 1: Define “Fabric” – Hosted by Greg Ferro
We often hear the term “Ethernet Fabrics” but for many we lack a clear understanding of what features, components and capabilities upgrade a “Ethernet Network” to an “Ethernet Fabric”. Is it about Speed? or Is it Lossless capabilities in DCB? What about Multipath or Multichassis?
In this segment we will discuss how and why of Ethernet Fabrics.
- Definition Fabric
- Are all Fabrics Ethernet
- FC Fabrics
- IB Fabrics
- Fast, Lossless,
Session 2: Converged Storage – Hosted by Stephen Foskett
Most enterprise servers connect to two separate networks: Ethernet for inter-system communication and Fibre Channel for data storage. This duplication just feels wrong to many IT architects, and Ethernet and storage vendors have come together to merge storage with LAN protocols for decades.
In this segment we will talk about storage convergence.
- NAS (NFS & SMB)
- DCB / Qaz / Lossless
Session 3: Multipath versus Multichassis – Hosted by Greg Ferro
Emerging layer-2 multipath technologies introduce the multipathing, fast failure recovery, and optimum bandwidth utilization we’ve always enjoyed in the IP world to the Ethernet layer-2 forwarding, allowing the data center architects to build large-scale (multipath) layer-2 solutions that approach the efficiency of layer-3 networks.
Some vendors are proposing an alternate solution: using multi-chassis link aggregation (MLAG) they’re building a virtual star topology that retains the redundancy and optimum bandwidth utilization requirements, and minimizes the impact of link outages without introducing new technologies.
This session will try to help you answer the following questions:
- When would you choose MLAG and when would multipath (TRILL/SPB) be a better option?
- What would be the best topology to build a multi-chassis L2 network versus a truly multipathing fabric.
Session 4: Hard Cores / Soft Edges – Hosted by Ivan Pepelnjak
Most data center architects are looking forward to scalable fabric-based solutions to support their virtualization/cloud deployment efforts. Traditional solutions in this space included simple edge (layer-2 hypervisor switches) and smart core (L2/L3 fabrics).
It’s possible, however, to unify the data center fabrics required by virtualization, PaaS, SaaS and big data workloads if the virtualized networks required by IaaS/server virtualization appear as just another IP-based application to the network. This alternate approach requires a simple high-speed IP core that can be built using time-tested designs, tools, technologies and products.
In this session, we’ll try to answer crucial questions: is this alternate approach a viable alternative for enterprise data centers and cloud builders, where is it needed or recommended, and what problems does it introduce?
|Stephen Foskett||Pack Rat||@SFoskett|
We are currently in the process of selecting vendor panelists for the Data Center Fabric Symposium. If you would like to be involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tickets for live attendance at the Data Center Fabric Symposium will be released shortly, and we will be streaming the entire event live over the Internet. Watch this page for the embedded video!
About the Organisers
Packet Pushers is a podcast and website focussed on data networking. The weekly podcast reaches a highly technical audience of 3500 network engineers and architects.
Tech Field Day is a regular event that brings together vendors and independent thought leaders to share information and opinions in a presentation and discussion format. Independent bloggers, freelance writers, and podcasters have a public presence that has immense influence on the ways that products and companies are perceived and by the general public.