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What Is Leaf-Spine Architecture and How to Design It

in News 04.05.2018 05:42
von buzai232 | 35 Beiträge | 3050 Punkte

What Is Leaf-Spine Architecture and How to Design It


As virtualization becomes popular in the data center, a shift in the traditional three-tier networking model is taking place as well. A new networking architecture, leaf-spine, is gradually becomes the mainstream in today’s data center network deployment. It overcomes some of the limitations of traditional three-tier architecture, and also creates a fast, predictable, scalable, and efficient communication architecture for data center switch.A traditional three-tier network architecture, as shown in the picture below, is composed of three layers. This three-tier topology is typically designed for north-south traffic.visit our EGScabletie page If running massive east-west traffic through this conventional architecture, devices connected to the same switch port may contend for bandwidth, resulting in poor response time obtained by end-users. Moreover, for one server to communicate with another server, it may need to traverse a hierarchical path through two aggregation switches and one core switch as shown in the picture, which adds latency and creates traffic bottlenecks. Thus, this three-tier architecture is not suitable for modern virtualized data center where compute and storage servers may be located anywhere within the facility.
Leaf-spine network architecture is catching up with large data center/cloud networks due to its scalability, reliability, and better performance. As shown below, the leaf-spine design only consists of two layers: the leaf layer and spine layer. The spine layer is made up of switches that perform routing, working as the backbone of the network. The leaf layer involves access switch that connects to endpoints like servers, storage devices, firewalls, load balancers, and edge routers. In leaf-spine architecture, every leaf switch is interconnected with each and every spine switch. With this design, any server can communicate with any other server with no more than one interconnection switch path between any two leaf switches. This architecture can be non-blocking by providing sufficient bandwidth from each leaf switch to spine switches.Another factor to keep in mind when designing your fabric is the oversubscription ratio. In a leaf-spine design, this oversubscription is measured as the ratio of downlink ports (to servers/storage) to uplink ports (to spine switches). If you have 20 servers each connected with 10Gbps links and 4 10Gbps uplinks to your spine switches, you have a 5:1 oversubscription ratio (200Gbps/40Gbps). Significant increases in the use of multi-core CPUs, server virtualization, flash storage, Big Data and cloud computing have driven the requirement for modern networks to have lower oversubscription. Current modern network designs have oversubscription ratios of 3:1 or less.

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