Data Center Fabrics Overview » Workshops » Data Center Fabrics Overview

Building a new data center fabric? Trying to evaluate different vendors? Considering tighter integration with virtualization platforms or converged storage?

This vendor-independent workshop will:

  • Give you an overview of data center fabric principles and common requirements;
  • Describe typical data center fabric architectures and vendor-specific solutions implementing them;
  • Identify benefits and drawbacks of common data center fabric architectures;


  • Data Center Fabrics Overview is a ½ day intensive instructor-led workshop.
  • Contact us for more details or if you want to have a customized on-site workshop for a closed group of up to 20 attendees

Topics Covered

The workshop focuses on these data center fabric requirements:

  • End-to-end layer-2 and layer-3 transport;
  • Converged storage requirements, including Data Center Bridging (DCB) and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) support;
  • Optimal transport with layer-2 and layer-3 multipathing;
  • Redundant server connectivity with Multi-chassis Link Aggregation (MLAG);
  • Virtualization awareness;
  • Simplified provisioning and management.

The typical data center fabric architectures described in the workshop include:

  • Independent management, control and data plane – Multi-chassis Link Aggregation (MLAG) solutions (Arista, Cumulus, Dell Force10) and large-scale bridging solutions from Brocade and Cisco;
  • Centralized management, independent control and data planes – Cisco ACI, Brocade VCS Fabric.
  • Centralized control plane, distributed data planes – Cisco VSS, HP IRF, Juniper Virtual Chassis and Virtual Chassis Fabric, OpenFlow-based solutions;
  • Centralized data plane – Cisco port extender architectures.


After attending this workshop you'll be able to:

  • Identify common data center fabric criteria and requirements;
  • Evaluate vendor architectures and identify their benefits and drawbacks;
  • Select the data center fabric solution meeting your requirements.

Who Should Attend

This workshop targets architects and designers who are planning, designing or building next-generation data centers. It will also help server, virtualization, security and networking engineers understand the limitations of data center fabrics and the options made available with the emerging software-defined technologies.

About the Author

Ivan PepelnjakIvan Pepelnjak, CCIE#1354 Emeritus, is an independent network architect, book author, blogger and regular speaker at industry events like Interop, RIPE and regional NOG meetings. He has been designing and implementing large-scale service provider and enterprise networks since 1990, and is currently using his expertise to help multinational enterprises and large cloud- and service providers design next-generation data center and cloud infrastructure using Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) approaches and technologies.

Ivan is the author of several books covering data center technologies, highly praised webinars, and dozens of data center and cloud-related technical articles published on his blog.

More about Ivan Pepelnjak