Is Your Data Center Furnished with Ethernet Fabric??

Ethernet fabric architected networks are the new way to go for modern data centers. The conventional STP (Spanning Tree Protocol) designed networks have a number of limitations and are impractical to use in today’s age of virtualization and cloud computing. The data center network technology has evolved and it is important for market leaders to keep abreast of the innovations.

So what exactly is the STP and how is it enhanced by the Ethernet fabric? The STP is a hierarchical network design that disallows the creation of loops in the network. This approach is inefficient as it wastes a lot of bandwidth. STP configurations need manual configuration of switch ports on VM migration and have a lot of operational overhead since each switch has to be managed independently.

The next obvious question is – how does an Ethernet fabric network solve these issues? The Ethernet fabric architecture is based on the Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) paradigm. These switches are more cost-effective and allow for a greater east-west bandwidth. They also lead to greater agility by faster and automatic network convergence on topology changes and switch additions. The most significant feature of this architecture in the modern data center is its VM awareness. VM mobility is seamless and automated services and network policies can be deployed, easing server administration considerably.

A recent study comparing two designs supporting 100 physical servers – one with Ethernet fabric and the other with STP revealed that the Ethernet fabric solution was less than half the cost of the traditional STP solution.  The newer technology also required only 10 rack units as compared to the 37 units needed by STP. The uplink over-subscription ratio was 5:25:1 as compared to 4:1 in the traditional system.

If you are looking for a modern architecture in your data center, ensure that you are using the best of breed Ethernet fabric design for maximum benefits. To contact the experts and decide what best suits your data center needs, do contact today.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.