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DC Fabric Automation Suite

Brocade Data Center products enable customers to build cloud optimized network and network virtualization architectures using VDX and SLX products. Brocade supports multiple network architectures for data center fabric depending on the customer application and scale requirements. Two main fabric architectures are “VCS Fabric” and “IP Fabric”. VCS Fabric is a TRILL-based Layer-2 fabric, while IP Fabric is a BGP-based Layer-3 fabric, which can be used with or without BGP-EVPN. The section below describes most common topologies for these two network architectures.

The DC Fabric Automation Suite can be used to manage both fabric architectures. Workflows include initial fabric configuration, tenant provisioning, edge port configuration, etc. Some workflows are specific to the fabric architecture and the topology, while others work for all architectures.

Brocade VCS Fabric

Brocade VCS Fabric Technology can be used to deploy a data center fabric in different topologies. This section summarizes the most common deployment models for Brocade VCS fabric. For more details on the design considerations for each of the deployment models, refer to the Brocade Data Center Architecture Solution Design Guide

The diagram below shows a data center site built using a leaf-spine topology deployed using Brocade VCS Fabric technology. In this topology, the spines are connected to the data center core/WAN edge devices directly. The spine PIN in this topology is sometimes referred to as the “border spine” because it performs both the spine function of east-west traffic switches and the border function of providing an interface to the data center core/WAN edge.

../../_images/vcs_fabric_l3_spine.png

Brocade VCS Fabric with Layer 3 Boundary at the Spine

The Layer 3 boundary for all networking endpoints is shown to be in the spine. The spine devices participate in active-active gateway redundancy using VRRP-E or Fabric Virtual Gateway.

Alternatively, in the diagram below, the Layer 3 boundary for all networking endpoints is shown to be at the WAN edge/data center core. A port channel connects the spines to the data center core/WAN edge devices. Multitenancy can be achieved at Layer 3 using Virtual Routing and Forwarding (VRF) instances at the Layer 3 boundary:

../../_images/vcs_fabric_separate_l3.png

Brocade VCS Fabric with Layer 3 Boundary Outside the Fabric

The Layer 3 boundary for all networking endpoints can also be at the border leaf switches, as shown below. Here the border leafs are shown as part of the VCS fabric. However, they can be a separate VCS fabric as well, in which case, the connections between the spine and the border leaf use a Layer 2 dual-side vLAG:

../../_images/vcs_fabric_l3_border_leaf.png

Brocade VCS Fabric with Layer 3 Boundary at the Border Leaf

Workflows for VCS fabric include:

  • add_multihomed_endpoint
  • add_singlehomed_endpoint
  • configure_vrrpe_gw
  • add_multihomed_endpoint_and_gw

See the Operation Overview documentation for details about these workflows.

Brocade IP Fabric

Brocade IP fabric provides a Layer 3 Clos deployment architecture for data center sites. With Brocade IP fabric, all links in the Clos topology are Layer 3 links. A data center PoD built with IP fabrics supports dual-homing of network endpoints using multiswitch port channel interfaces formed between a pair of Brocade VDX switches participating in a vLAG. This pair of leaf switches is called a vLAG pair. For more details on the design considerations for Brocade IP fabric, refer to the Brocade Data Center Architecture Solution Design Guide

../../_images/ip_fabric_dual_home.png

An IP Fabric Data Center PoD Built with Leaf-Spine Topology and a vLAG Pair for Dual-Homed Network Endpoint

The Layer 3 boundary in a Brocade IP fabric is always at the leaves. In cases of multi-homed network endpoints, gateway redundancy using VRRP-E is used to provide active-active forwarding on the vLAG pair.

Brocade IP Fabrics can also be deployed with BGP-EVPN. With Brocade BGP-EVPN network virtualization, network virtualization is achieved through creation of a VXLAN-based overlay network. Brocade BGP-EVPN network virtualization leverages BGP-EVPN to provide a control plane for the virtual overlay network. BGP-EVPN enables control-plane learning for end hosts behind remote VXLAN tunnel endpoints (VTEPs). This learning includes reachability for Layer 2 MAC addresses and Layer 3 host routes.

With BGP-EVPN deployed in a data center site, the leaf switches participate in the BGP-EVPN control- and data-plane operations. These are shown as BGP-EVPN Instance (EVI) below. The spine switches participate only in the BGP-EVPN control plane. For more details on the design considerations for Brocade IP fabric, refer to the Brocade Data Center Architectures for Network Virtualization Solution Design Guide and Network Virtualization in IP Fabric with BGP EVPN Brocade Validated Design

../../_images/ip_fabric_bgp_evpn.png

A BGP EVPN based IP Fabric Data Center PoD Built with Leaf-Spine Topology

Workflows for IP Fabric architecture include:

  • add_multihomed_endpoint
  • add_singlehomed_endpoint
  • configure_vrrpe_gw
  • add_multihomed_endpoint_and_gw
  • create_l2_tenant_evpn
  • create_l3_tenant_evpn
  • add_multihomed_endpoint_and_gw_evpn

See the Operation Overview documentation for details about these workflows.

Supported Devices

The DC Fabric Automation Suite supports the following devices:

DC Fabric Automation Suite v1.0

  • VCS Fabric - VDX 6740, 6940, 8770 running Network OS 6.0.2c
  • IP Fabric & EVPN - VDX 6740, 6940, 8770 running Network OS 7.0.1b and 7.1

DC Fabric Automation Suite v1.1

In addition to above device, 1.1 includes support for the following SLX devices:

  • IP Fabric (no EVPN) - Brocade SLX 9850 running SLX-OS SLX-OS_16r.1.1, SLX-OS_17r.1.00 and later
  • IP Fabric (no EVPN) - Brocade SLX 9540 running OS SLX-OS_17r.1.00 and later

What’s Next?

  • Install and run Brocade Workflow Composer and DC Fabric Automation Suite - follow the Installation guide.