Tidbit – An Overlay Love Story

I happen to have a bit of a crush on Trill/FabricPath, yet I think both are dead and/or dying. I can’t understand why we as network engineers would purposely want to implement pervasive L2 in a modern data center (or network in general) . I feel like it inexorably ties far too much of whats in the network directly into the hardware in your data center. Of course we’ve been talking about abstraction on Twitter and blogs and in the industry in general, but mostly about abstracting away the element of human error and vendor centric configurations. Why should we not abstract more though? I think that’s the point of the overlay/underlay model, and that’s why I love it. I want the underlay network to be stupid stupid stupid simple. I want it to just work. I want to be able to throw one of the cores or spine switches off the roof of the data center and have no users be any wiser (I suppose you can do that in a Trill/FP environment, but I think you get my meaning!). I also want to be able to put my networks any damn place I please (in all the clouds!), and yet retain all of my normal data center policies and services.

As with anything, there’s always a time and a place for technologies, and perhaps saying that Trill/FabricPath is dead is a bit over the top… especially since I have a net new FabricPath install coming up soon… but I love me some overlays, and you should too.

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