Tech Notes: What is Shortest Path Bridging IEEE 802.1aq – Brief

Summary of the key elements of the Shortest Path Bridging Protocol IEEE 802.1aq.

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◎ Brocade’s Data Centre Ethernet Strategy

I attended the Brocade Analyst and Tech Day last week as a guest of Brocade where I got to learn more about product, technology and strategy. In particular, the event was led by the launch of the Brocade VDX 8770.

TL:DR version: I have a better understanding of Brocade’s market strategy, insight into the technology and believe that Brocade has a a good product here. The proof will be in the delivery, and whether Brocade can let go of it’s storage legacy (FibreChannel) and properly commit to Ethernet. They will need to convince networking professionals that their product managers understand the market and requirements to get them to switch to Brocade. At this time, I think Brocade has a chance of making that happen based on the emphasis of VCS Fabric and Automation.

Where I’m less comfortable is that Brocade will rely on external parties to deliver the software automation – that’s a strategy that has NOT worked in the last 20 years. There is no reason to believe this anything has changed.

Contains pictures and words.

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How TRILL (and SPB) can reduce STP risk and mitigate impact

In this post, I’m looking at network designs with ECMP cores using TRILL or SPB, I’m realising that STP is equally improved in terms of risk and performance by reducing the STP domain size which leads to better stability, reduced risk and impact mitigation

What is the Definition of a Switch Fabric ?

The marketing people in IT tend to be overwhelmed by complexity and deep technology. For many liberal arts graduates, they take the drowning option and latch onto certain terms and then grossly abuse it. The most egregious abuse today is “cloud” but “fabric” comes a close second. In this series of posts I want to look at what is a FABRIC and provide a canonical look at what it does and how it works for us.

Rant: Why SPB Doesn’t Get Any Attention

Someone made a comment that Packet Pushers hasn’t discussed SPB as alternative to TRILL or other Fabric solutions. Here’s why.

Would you implement a Proprietary L2 ECMP Protocol today ?

So Cisco’s much ballyhoo’d FabricPath protocol for “Data Centre of the Future” is proprietary. Not an extension or a fancy product name. Full ‘EIGRP style’ we own it and you can’t have it. What’s that all about ?

Internets of Interest:5 Aug 10

Collection of useful, relevant or inane places on the the Internets for 5 Aug 10:

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Runt Packet – Cisco Fabric Path

Packet Pushers are adding a new series of sporadic and occasional podcasts where we take a single topic, probably technical and very focussed and discuss just that thing. These podcasts should be about fifteen minutes and be brief and hard hitting.

And we are going to call it, in Packet Pushers style ——RUNT PACKETS.

So herewith is the FIRST Runt Packet.

The TRILLing brain split

The split personality Cisco has exposed at Cisco Live 2010 is amazing: on one hand you have the Data Center team touting the benefits of Routing at Layer 2 (an oxymoron if Iíve ever seen one), on the other hand you have Russ White extolling the virtues of good layer-3 design in the CCDE training (the quote I like most: ìIt all meets at Layer 3 … thatís why CCDE is layer-3 centricî). If youíre confused, youíre not the only one, so letís try to analyze whatís going on.

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Show 10 ñ Itís a TRILL to Cius at CiscoLiveÖ

Wow, we actually managed to do ten episodes. Jeremy Filliben, CCIE #3851 & CCDE #20090003 (@jfilliben) and Brandon Carroll, CCIE #23827 (@brandoncarroll) join the Prime Pushers for an hour-long round-table discussion of the week’s news.  And if you missed Greg last week, he’s back – with rant mode decidedly ON. More on Cisco’s shipping and […]

Bisectional Bandwidth. And why L2MP and Trill/RBridges is important ?

Greg Ferro looks at Bisectional Bandwidth as a design technique in the data centre and why the impact of Layer 2 Multi-Pathing is a vital part of Data Centre Network Design.

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