Leaf-and-Spine Fabric Architectures

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Webinar details

3 stage (leaf-and-spine) Clos fabric

Every major networking vendor is busy promoting its own (usually proprietary) Data Center Fabric. While they're debating the architectures and proprietary nature of competitors' offerings, and solving dubious problems like large-scale bridging with pre-standard implementations, the data center users still face the problem succinctly expressed by James Hamilton: "Data Center Networks are in my Way".

It turns out we don't need rocket-science data center fabric solutions to solve that problem - it's possible to build large all-point-equidistant networks with no constraints on workload placement with existing gear from numerous vendors using decades-old Clos architectures.

The Leaf-and-Spine Fabric Architectures webinar will describe the Clos architecture concepts used to build leaf-and-spine architectures, and single- and multistage designs that can be used to build large layer-2 or layer-3 all-point-equidistant Data Center networks.

For more details on data center fabric technologies like TRILL or SPB, vendor-specific solutions like FabricPath or QFabric, or hardware overviews, watch Data Center Fabric Architectures and Data Centers for Networking Engineers webinars


The webinar covers these topics:

  • The challenges of traditional 3-tier data center architectures
  • Flatting the data center network
  • Leaf-Spine (or Clos) architectures
  • Multi-stage leaf-and-spine fabrics
  • Leaf-and-spine design process
  • Deployment considerations

The design scenarios described in the webinar include:

  • Non-redundant layer-3-only design
  • Redundant layer-3-only design
  • Impact of server-to-switch link aggregation on layer-3 designs
  • Redundant layer-2 designs
  • Mixed L2/L3 designs: L2 on leaf, L3 on spine switch and vice versa

The Authors

Brad Hedlund

Brad Hedlund (CCIE #5530) has been designing and deploying IP networks and data centers since 1996, with experience in various roles as a customer, consultant, and vendor.

Brad was with Cisco for 6 years focused on data center switching (Nexus) and computing (UCS). Now with Dell, Brad is working on infrastructure solutions for Big Data (Hadoop) and open source private cloud (OpenStack).

In his spare time, Brad maintains a popular blog with topics on data center networking, virtualization, and computing.

More about Brad Hedlund

Ivan Pepelnjak

Ivan Pepelnjak (CCIE#1354 Emeritus) has been designing, deploying, operating and troubleshooting IP-based enterprise and service provider networks since 1990. He’s the author of EIGRP and MPLS books published by Cisco Press, numerous articles and highly praised webinars, including Data Center 3.0 for Networking Engineers and Data Center Interconnects.

His blog, where you'll find numerous data center- and virtualization-related articles, is usually considered one of the best technology-focused internetworking blogs.

More about Ivan Pepelnjak

Happy Campers

About the webinar

Good info on Leaf and Spine design overview and consideration

Quinton Clark
This webinar is the best datacenter underlay reference out there. It clarifies many concepts and clears misconceptions. Now only it helped me to understand simple leaf-and-spine topologies, but also more complex CLOS multi-stage designs. This webinar is my primary source of inspiration when I write about modern datacenter underlays. I thoroughly recommend it. Antonio Sanchez-Monge. @virtualhops.
Antonio Sanchez Monge

About the materials

More in-depth technical design for CLOS technology components i.e. OSPF ECMP and redundant, multi-vlan L3 access (Leaf) design would be great as most datacentre deployments require this.
Quinton Clark
It is great to have this kind of independent top quality content available to browse and watch. This is the place to be and I will renew year after year. Antonio Sanchez-Monge. @virtualhops.
Antonio Sanchez Monge
it would be great if you explain different between TRILL, FabricPath, QFabric, etc in detail.
Radityo Honggoyudho

Target Audience

This webinar is ideal for architects and designers that have to look behind the vendor marketectures and build large-scale solutions that meet their business and operational requirements.

If you are a network architect, designer or sales/support engineer working in data center environment, you simply have to attend this webinar.

Delivery format

The Leaf-and-Spine Fabric Architectures is a 2-hour technical presentation available as a set of downloadable videos that you can buy in our online store. We can also organize an on-site event, where the topics of this presentation are combined with in-depth discussion of other Data Center networking topics that apply to your network.

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