Orhan Ergun 5 Comments

Datacenter Design: Shortest Path Bridging

IEEE 802.1aq Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) uses IS-IS as an underlying control plane mechanism that allows all the links in the topology to be active.

In sum, it supports layer 2 multipath. SPB is used in the datacenter; however, it can also be used in the local area network. In this article, Figure-1 will be used to explain shortest path bridging operation.

leaf and spine


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Orhan Ergun 1 Comment

Bridging, Provider Bridging, Provider Backbone, and Shortest Path Bridging

I received an interesting comment to my last post on networkcomputing  It was about Avaya’s SPB and how it served in the core of the network at the Sochi Olympics.

For those who are not familiar with acronym, SPB stands for Shortest Path Bridging and it is used for large scale bridging in the data center (Though it is not limited to datacenter environment).

Since the Idea behind of SPB is removing the Spanning Tree protocol and benefits from multipathing which can be easily achieved with layer 3 routing, with SPB,bridging can be implemented in a smarter way. Also better resiliency is achieved with SPB compare to the classical bridging.

In this post I will explain large scale bridging, layer 2 multipathing technologies, some vendor implementations such as Fabricpath of Cisco , SPB of Avaya. I will mention their pros and cons as well. Before going technical details of these technologies, let’s examine traditional/classical bridging, let’s see how large scale bridging problem is solved while examining resiliency and multipathing capabilities of each solution.

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