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Data Center Fabrics – did I miss anything?

During the EuroNOG conference in Krakow (if you’re in Europe, make sure to be there ;) I’ll talk about data center fabrics, trying to explain the realities behind some of the marketectures.

So far my presentation covers Cisco’s Fabric Path, VPC, VSS and port extenders, Brocade’s VCS Fabric based on what’s available in Brocade NOS 2.0 (they still have to decide whether they’ll tell me what’s new in NOS 2.1), Juniper’s Virtual Chassis and XRE, HP’s IRF, and OpenFlow.

If you’re working for a networking vendor I haven't mentioned, and feel that I should describe your approach to data center fabrics, please contact me (or send a tweet to @ioshints). Here are the ground rules:

No NDA/embargo this time. The presentation is in a few weeks and I have to know that I can pass on whatever you tell me.

Features, not futures. I might make exceptions for solutions that are almost-ready (that’s what I’m planning to do with Brocade NOS 2.1), but the very minimum I would need is access to configuration guides.

Creative solutions only (QFabric comes to mind if I manage to get enough in-depth information). I have only 45 minutes, and the existing material is getting very close to that limit. However, a significantly longer version of the presentation will be available as a webinar before the end of the year, and I’ll be able to cover lots of additional solutions (like L3 Clos trees from Force-10 or two-box MLAG solutions from other vendors) there.


  1. Avaya solutions with its Nortel heritage of smlt?
  2. Unless they developed something new, it falls under "two-box MLAG solutions from other vendors". Will mention it (and ALU) together with vPC during the presentation.

    The coverage in the webinar will be more extensive, but I need some help - at least point me to a recent set of documentation, I can take it from there.
  3. You can check here Avaya VSP 9000 here:
  4. Thanks for the link. Seems they made decent progress, SMLT is now functionally (almost) identical to vPC, the only difference might be active-active HSRP support in NX-OS (I understood the documents saying that with SMLT only one switch forwards off-subnet traffic through VRRP address).
  5. Ivan SMLT has supported VRRP Backup Master for years now (before 2006).
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