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BLOG: Clos networks – What’s old is new again

Scott Hogg | Jan. 13, 2014
What goes around, comes around – Clos Networks are back

Cisco's implementation of FabricPath is an extension of the TRILL standard. Cisco data center switches like Nexus 7000 switches are connected in a Clos network to Nexus 5000 and/or Nexus 2000 switches and FabricPath can be run within that data center and to connect to other data centers.

Juniper's QFabric System is their TRILL-based data center connectivity solution. QFabric Nodeas are interconnected to form a fabric that can utilize multiple redundant uplinks for greater performance and reliability.

Brocade Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS) Fabric is their implementation of the TRILL standard that allows for a Clos network topology to utilize multiple link.

Arista Spline architecture where the terms leaf and spine are combined into a new word that represents a collapsed architecture that uses a single tier. At first, you may think that the term "Spline" is related to a method of connecting mechanical parts or some type ofmathematics.

If you have been in the IT and networking industry for more than a decade, you have probably seen different concept evolve, peak, die, and then become resurrected into some new technology. We saw Token Ring networks reform into FDDI and then reappear inEthernet ring topologies. We have all witnessed how centralized mainframes evolved into distributed computing and now server consolidation and virtualizations have brought back computing to centralized data centers and then back into cloud computing. Clos networks is one of those enduring concepts that we will undoubtedly see again and again in the evolution of networking technologies.

Source: Network World


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