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Very interesting sales presentation yesterday from Avaya. They are moving into 802.1aq shortest path bridging and removing STP/RSTP from the L2 infrastructure. Very interesting functionality, and the ability to make east-west traffic highly efficient.


Is anyone else looking into that, or currently running Avaya gear?





David Ziemba


Network Engineer



ITS: Innovations & Solutions


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I’ve seen a similar presentation. How does that work cross-vendor? Is it going to be based entirely on the standard, or is there Avaya “special sauce”*? How does one get out, if one got in?


The concept itself seems quite interesting though.





*My SE indicated that there was some “special sauce” involved.




I am more interested in TRILL which is 802.1aq’s direct competitor. TRILL also gets rid of spanning tree, and it was actually proposed By Radia Perlman. My understanding is that these new protocols also allow you to do equal cost multipath, so instead of having wasted bandwidth from unused links that are disabled, all the links are always passing traffic. I believe the other benefit is that it can also replace 802.3ad which is flow based and can cause problems if a flow saturates a link (ie we’ve seen this happen on 10 Gig links doing a vmotion). TRILL is an IETF standard because apparently the IEEE rejected Radia Perlman’s proposal. The reason I am more drawn to TRILL is because it seems to have better support from the major networking vendors such as Cisco, Brocade and Juniper. I see Avaya as a rather niche player when it comes to networking gear as it is and would be hesitant to make a commitment to such a vendor. But maybe I’m just paranoid afeter seeing what 3Com did with their networking products. Apparently the larger vendors like TRILL because they can reuse existing code for their implementations as it makes use of IS-IS which they have all implemented. On the other hand, there are apparently those who love the Avaya/Nortel gear and the approach has its own mertis. Either way, there does seem to be a fair bit of debate within the industry between the two different approaches. We have not made any commitments yet, but are starting to think about using something like this for our next generation Data Center network. It is a very different way of looking at networking and it is quite fascinating how it all works.


Pete Morrissey


We are looking into the SPB from Avaya here and it is very promising. We are all Avaya shop for wired data. I would encourage anyone else that is looking at a new network to give it a good look. Kade P. Cole - - (618) 650-3377 Southern Illinois University Edwardsville - ITS Network and Infrastructure - Network Engineer IV

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