OpenFabric with Russ White on Software Gone Wild

Continuing the series of data center routing protocol podcasts, we sat down with Russ White (of the CCDE fame), author of another proposal: OpenFabric.

As always, we started with the “what’s wrong with what we have right now, like using BGP as a better IGP” question, resulting in “BGP is becoming the trash can of the Internet”.

You can probably guess the next set of intro questions: "Do we need policies and traffic engineering in a high-speed data center fabric?"

Finally, we got to discussing OpenFabric, starting with how OpenFabric uses link-state database to modify IS-IS flooding behavior and thus reduces the total amount of flooding in a data center fabric. Next step: how do you know where it’s safe to reduce flooding? You have to figure out whether you’re a leaf or spine, and there are two ways in OpenFabric to solve that challenge.

Of course, we couldn’t possibly stay on track, so there was a brief diversion into virtual aggregation, application-level IP address huggers and local area IP address mobility with ARP… but quickly got back to more OpenFabric goodness including how it uses Segment Routing.

Interested? Listen to Episode 89 of Software Gone Wild.

More to explore:

Latest blog posts in BGP in Data Center Fabrics series


  1. In my opinion there are 4 (amateur) comedians in this podcast talking about recycling old network technologies and mixing them together. The end result is a hexagonal wheel which will eventually work but it's not clear for now. For people who want to learn something new, they can skip to 55:07
  2. I can't take this talk serious. For me it's too much giggling. I wonder what Ivan and his friends had consumed before the recording.
    1. Yeah, I probably should have pulled the plug on this one... but I thought there was still some pretty useful information in there regardless of how it sounds (and trust me, herding the cats would be easier).

      Lesson learned...
    2. Fair enough. Looking forward to your new episode.
    3. Well, the podcast did answer two of my questions I posted for the upcoming Next-Gen DC course, so it was useful (and a bit of fun) to me :-)
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