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Review: Ethernet Fabric Whitepaper by Brocade

I’ve been pretty deep into my CCNP ROUTE studies, which is mostly WAN and routing protocols, so I haven’t had much chance to dive any deeper when it comes to datacenter stuff.

I’d seen several ads for the Brocade whitepaper titled “Five Reasons Classic Ethernet Switches Won’t Support the Cloud” and I figured I’d give it a shot. The whitepaper is not long, and is quite easy to understand. It contrasted well between traditional switches and Ethernet Fabric switches in terms of supporting SaaS application requirements, pointing out that while STP is a necessary evil in a classic Ethernet switched infrastructure, it creates several problems for “the cloud”. It explains the advantages of a “flattened” network with respect to applications like this, and does not present it as a “must-do regardless”, but points out that it is up to the network engineer to evaluate if the current infrastructure can handle the heavy requirements of the cloud. It also does not plug Brocade’s gear as a solution, but presents the information in a vendor-neutral format.

Keeping in mind that I’m just now starting to get on the ball when it comes to datacenter, this was a great publication to get introduced to some of the problems involved with deploying a cloud. A great read for a beginner like me.

The whitepaper is available for free on Brocade’s site: