This is part two of a series that highlights common questions in Brocade’s “Fabrics 101: Essentials of Ethernet Fabrics” workshops.
In Brocade’s recent Ethernet Fabric 101 workshops in San Diego and Austin, participants’ chatter around standards TRILL (Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links) and SPB (Shortest Path Bridging) lead us to answer some crucial questions in our latest installment of the Ethernet Fabric 101 Q&A Series. We’ve recapped the discussion and provided answers to their questions that you may be asking yourselves as well.
Question 1: Will TRILL become the standard over SPB?
TRILL is already a standard; SPB will become one as well, some day. They will eventually both be available as IS-IS (Intermediate System To Intermediate System) and OSPF (Open Shortest Path First) are already today. However TRILL is much further along because it’s a standard with the support of many established companies. The current vendor landscape is detailed below:
Question 2: Are there any issues when implementing Ethernet Fabrics in a spanning tree environment?
TRILL is designed to interoperate with spanning tree protocol from the beginning. This is required for the phased removal of STP. For example, if you are deploying Ethernet Fabrics with Brocade VCS Technology in a STP-based architecture, the entire Ethernet Fabric will appear to the rest of the architecture as a simple L2 switch. This capability allows customers to phase in an Ethernet Fabric-based architecture at their own pace and completely eliminates the need for fork-lift upgrades.
Question 3: Could you run spanning tree on either end with TRILL in the middle?
Yes, TRILL is designed to enable this. Now, with that said, each implementation of TRILL may vary a little bit in how the network architects choose to interoperate with STP. As with all things, you should plan carefully and follow best practices for your implementation.
Stay tuned for more insights and answers to your questions in the next installment of this series. For more information about Brocade’s Fabrics 101: Essentials of Ethernet Fabrics workshops, you can visit the registration site here and follow along with #Fabric101 on Twitter.