Data Center

mdetrick

Deploy Network Capacity 5x Faster

by mdetrick on ‎02-11-2014 08:00 AM (1,437 Views)

As a past customer who has deployed many production networks, I can say that there is an overall process of planning, configuring features, and verification.  In IT, there is always more that needs to be done than there is time to get everything done, I have never seen otherwise.  This directly means that leveraging any technology that can deploy faster and easier will contribute directly to the benefit of the IT department as well as the overall enterprise.

 

There is a networking conundrum.  Prior to Ethernet Fabrics, no fundamental advancements were made to traditional Ethernet networks for more than a decade, yet, those networks grew in complexity and scale by more than an order of magnitude.   Ethernet Fabrics are a Brocade innovation solving these problems.  Ethernet fabrics provide: scale without the complexity; significant reduction in the process of planning, configuration and verification.  By returning the most valuable resource back to IT and the enterprise, namely time, resources are freed to drive new and needed valuable IT projects improving productivity and competitiveness of the overall enterprise.

 

Time saving with Brocade Ethernet Fabrics:

 

  • Zero-touch configurations to add capacity rapidly, easily and non-disruptively

Right from the get go starting with data center network planning, Cisco FabricPath is considerably more complex, complexity that exists for no other reason than to just be complex and time consuming.  Brocade VCS has no such unnecessary complexity.  Complexity opens great opportunities for human error.  Errors introduced into complex systems further consume time and resources expending efforts to resolve problems while reducing ROI and increasing TCO, after all, these resources are not free and all the while other valuable projects lay waiting.  This is just the planning phase.

 

For the configuration phase of an Ethernet Fabric project, it is best to demonstrate the difference between Brocade VCS and Cisco Fabric Path by showing the actual CLI commands needed to configure two spine switches and four leafs using Port Channels and only 4 VLANs.  Here are the commands starting with Brocade VDX/VCS…

 

Brocade VCS Ethernet Fabric Configuration

 

No commands needed!

Brocade VDX/VCS has a fully automated process achieving the exact same thing as FabricPath without laborious, time consuming, error prone configuration.  Refer to Cisco FabricPath configuration below.  For Brocade, just make the physical connections to the ports you desire to use. 

 

Cisco FabricPath Configuration

Nexus 7010-1 (Spine)

Nexus7010-1(config)# install feature-set fabricpath

Nexus7010-1(config)# feature lacp

Nexus7010-1(config)# int port-channel 100

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# shut

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# int port-channel 200

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# shut

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# int port-channel 300

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# shut

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# int port-channel 400

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# shut

 

Nexus7010-1(config)# int eth 7/30 - 32

Nexus7010-1(config-if-range)# channel-group 100 mode active

Nexus7010-1(config-if-range)# int eth 7/27 - 29

Nexus7010-1(config-if-range)# channel-group 200 mode active

Nexus7010-1(config-if-range)# int eth 7/24 - 26

Nexus7010-1(config-if-range)# channel-group 300 mode active

Nexus7010-1(config-if-range)# int eth 7/12 - 14

Nexus7010-1(config-if-range)# channel-group 400 mode active

 

Nexus7010-1(config)# feature-set fabricpath

Nexus7010-1(config)# fabricpath switch-id 100

 

Nexus7010-1(config)# interface port-channel 100

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-1(config)# interface port-channel 200

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-1(config)# interface port-channel 300

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-1(config)# interface port-channel 400

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

 

Nexus7010-1(config)# vlan 100

Nexus7010-1(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-1(config)# vlan 200

Nexus7010-1(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-1(config)# vlan 300

Nexus7010-1(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-1(config)# vlan 400

Nexus7010-1(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-1(config)# copy run start

 

Nexus7010-1(config)# int port-channel 100

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# no shut

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# int port-channel 200

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# no shut

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# int port-channel 300

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# no shut

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# int port-channel 400

Nexus7010-1(config-if)# no shut

 

Nexus 7010-2 (Spine)

Nexus7010-2(config)# install feature-set fabricpath

Nexus7010-2(config)# feature lacp

Nexus7010-2(config)# int port-channel 100

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# shut

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# int port-channel 200

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# shut

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# int port-channel 300

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# shut

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# int port-channel 400

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# shut

 

Nexus7010-2(config)# int eth 7/30 - 32

Nexus7010-2(config-if-range)# channel-group 100 mode active

Nexus7010-2(config-if-range)# int eth 7/27 - 29

Nexus7010-2(config-if-range)# channel-group 200 mode active

Nexus7010-2(config-if-range)# int eth 7/24 - 26

Nexus7010-2(config-if-range)# channel-group 300 mode active

Nexus7010-2(config-if-range)# int eth 7/12 - 14

Nexus7010-2(config-if-range)# channel-group 400 mode active

 

Nexus7010-2(config)# feature-set fabricpath

Nexus7010-2(config)# fabricpath switch-id 200

 

Nexus7010-2(config)# interface port-channel 100

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-2(config)# interface port-channel 200

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-2(config)# interface port-channel 300

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-2(config)# interface port-channel 400

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

 

Nexus7010-2(config)# vlan 100

Nexus7010-2(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-2(config)# vlan 200

Nexus7010-2(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-2(config)# vlan 300

Nexus7010-2(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-2(config)# vlan 400

Nexus7010-2(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

Nexus7010-2(config)# copy run start

 

Nexus7010-2(config)# int port-channel 100

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# no shut

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# int port-channel 200

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# no shut

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# int port-channel 300

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# no shut

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# int port-channel 400

Nexus7010-2(config-if)# no shut

 

Nexus 5548UP-41 (Leaf)

CA-5548UP-41(config)# install feature-set fabricpath

CA-5548UP-41#(config)# feature lacp

CA-5548UP-41#(config)# int port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-41#(config-if)# shut

CA-5548UP-41#(config-if)# int port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-41#(config-if)# shut

 

CA-5548UP-41(config-if)# int eth 1/14 - 16

CA-5548UP-41(config-if-range)# channel-group 100 mode active

CA-5548UP-41(config-if-range)# int eth 1/10, eth 1/12, eth 1/13

CA-5548UP-41(config-if-range)# channel-group 200 mode active

 

CA-5548UP-41(config)# feature-set fabricpath

CA-5548UP-41(config)# fabricpath switch-id 300

 

CA-5548UP-41(config)# interface port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-41(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-41(config)# interface port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-41(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

 

CA-5548UP-41(config)# vlan 100

CA-5548UP-41(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-41(config)# vlan 200

CA-5548UP-41(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-41(config)# vlan 300

CA-5548UP-41(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-41(config)# vlan 400

CA-5548UP-41(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-41(config)# copy run start

 

CA-5548UP-41(config)# int port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-41(config-if)# no shut

CA-5548UP-41(config-if)# int port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-41(config-if)# no shut

 

Nexus 5548UP-42 (Leaf)

CA-5548UP-42(config)# install feature-set fabricpath

CA-5548UP-42#(config)# feature lacp

CA-5548UP-42#(config)# int port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-42#(config-if)# shut

CA-5548UP-42#(config-if)# int port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-42#(config-if)# shut

 

CA-5548UP-42(config-if)# int eth 1/14 - 16

CA-5548UP-42(config-if-range)# channel-group 100 mode active

CA-5548UP-42(config-if-range)# int eth 1/10, eth 1/12, eth 1/13

CA-5548UP-42(config-if-range)# channel-group 200 mode active

 

CA-5548UP-42(config)# feature-set fabricpath

CA-5548UP-42(config)# fabricpath switch-id 400

 

CA-5548UP-42(config)# interface port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-42(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-42(config)# interface port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-42(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

 

CA-5548UP-42(config)# vlan 100

CA-5548UP-42(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-42(config)# vlan 200

CA-5548UP-42(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-42(config)# vlan 300

CA-5548UP-42(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-42(config)# vlan 400

CA-5548UP-42(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-42(config)# copy run start

 

CA-5548UP-42(config)# int port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-42(config-if)# no shut

CA-5548UP-42(config-if)# int port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-42(config-if)# no shut

 

Nexus 5548UP-43 (Leaf)

CA-5548UP-43(config)# install feature-set fabricpath

CA-5548UP-43(config)# feature lacp

CA-5548UP-43(config-if)# int eth 1/14 - 16

CA-5548UP-43(config-if-range)# channel-group 100 mode active

CA-5548UP-43(config-if-range)# int eth 1/10, eth 1/12, eth 1/13

CA-5548UP-43(config-if-range)# channel-group 200 mode active

 

CA-5548UP-43(config)# feature-set fabricpath

CA-5548UP-43(config)# fabricpath switch-id 500

 

CA-5548UP-43(config)# interface port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-43(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-43(config)# interface port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-43(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

 

CA-5548UP-43(config)# vlan 100

CA-5548UP-43(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-43(config)# vlan 200

CA-5548UP-43(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-43(config)# vlan 300

CA-5548UP-43(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-43(config)# vlan 400

CA-5548UP-43(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-43(config)# copy run start

 

CA-5548UP-43(config)# int port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-43(config-if)# no shut

CA-5548UP-43(config-if)# int port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-43(config-if)# no shut

 

Nexus 5548UP-44 (Leaf)

CA-5548UP-44(config)# install feature-set fabricpath

CA-5548UP-44(config)# feature lacp

CA-5548UP-44(config)# int port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-44(config-if)# shut

CA-5548UP-44(config-if)# int port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-44(config-if)# shut

 

CA-5548UP-44(config-if)# int eth 1/14 - 16

CA-5548UP-44(config-if-range)# channel-group 100 mode active

CA-5548UP-44(config-if-range)# int eth 1/10, eth 1/12, eth 1/13

CA-5548UP-44(config-if-range)# channel-group 200 mode active

 

CA-5548UP-44(config)# feature-set fabricpath

CA-5548UP-44(config)# fabricpath switch-id 600

 

CA-5548UP-44(config)# interface port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-44(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-44(config)# interface port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-44(config-if)# switchport mode fabricpath

 

CA-5548UP-44(config)# vlan 100

CA-5548UP-44(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-44(config)# vlan 200

CA-5548UP-44(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-44(config)# vlan 300

CA-5548UP-44(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-44(config)# vlan 400

CA-5548UP-44(config-vlan)# mode fabricpath

CA-5548UP-44(config)# copy run start

 

CA-5548UP-44(config)# int port-channel 100

CA-5548UP-44(config-if)# no shut

CA-5548UP-44(config-if)# int port-channel 200

CA-5548UP-44(config-if)# no shut

 

This Cisco configuration is filed under...  REALLY?!

 

  • Automatic prioritization of iSCSI traffic

For LLDP there is an iSCSI TLV used to advertise the iSCSI QoS configuration parameters to the attached DCB enabled servers and targets.  Using Data Center Bridging (DCB) with Priority Flow Control (PFS) and Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS) for iSCSI based IP storage provides a lossless and bandwidth guaranteed environment for iSCSI.  This is significant because the configuration of this on Brocade VDX/VCS is fast and simple; therefore, deploying network capacity for iSCSI on a Brocade VCS is less time consuming.

 

  • No changes to the core

Core routing must always remain stable, and changes to the core are often discouraged and viewed with trepidation.  Brocade VCS providing scale-out Access and Aggregation layers within a data center will appear to the core as a single L2 switch with multiple redundant connections.  Simplicity provides reliability, ease of management, and faster time to resolution during troubleshooting.  Brocade vLAGs (Virtual LAGs) connects the VCS to the core using ISLs from multiple VDX devices.  This is a highly reliable architecture.

 

  • VCS Logical Chassis

VCS Logical Chassis is expediency by way of a single virtual chassis.  On Cisco, adding capacity to a network can imply a number of intermediate configuration steps along the way, for example: joining port channels and trunks, ACL/security, VLANs and pruning, QoS, etc…  By way of a single point of management (Brocade Logical Chassis), the network administrator eliminates the need to manually configure and manage each switch, which simplifies management, reduces configuration errors, and speeds deployment completion time dramatically.

 

Conclusion:

The claim is 5x times faster to deploy data center network capacity using Brocade VCS vs. Cisco FabricPath.  Given this comparison of the CLI commands maybe this estimate is too conservative?