Show 136: Avaya – Considerations for Turning your Network into an Ethernet Fabric – Sponsored

We’ve done a few shows now on Ethernet Fabrics where we have been getting deep into the different technology options and different vendor implementations.  Avaya has sponsored this show where we actually interview customers who were early adopters of fabric-based  and talk about what drove these customers to implement a network fabric, how they went about deploying it and what the real-world values have been for them and their end users.

One thing we think that you’ll really find interesting is how these customers are using their fabrics.  Their deployments include L2 extensions between data centers, integrated IP routing and even multicast forwarding.  They have unique insight to share on how and why it makes sense to transition L2 and L3 services to a single unified fabric.

Avaya has a different approach to building Ethernet Fabrics based in IEEE standards with Shortest Path Bridging (SPB). SPB works both as an Ethernet Fabric in the Data Centre but also has capabilities in the Campus, MAN and WAN.

We talked in more technical detail about SPB (IEEE 802.1aq & IETF RFC 6329) in Show 44 – The Case for Shortest Path Bridging in May 2011.


  • Phil Taylor, Communications Consultant, from Leed’s Metropolitan University.  He deployed an Ethernet Fabric in 2012 between data centers to gain greater flexibility and agility.
  • Rick Bolt, Network Engineer from Franciscan Alliance –Network Engineer from Franciscan Alliance who deployed a fabric to interconnect 14 hospitals across 3 states.
  • Paul Unbehagen from Avaya – Active member of the IEEE and IETF, one of the authors of the Shortest Path Bridging specification based on IEEE 802.1aq and IETF 6329 and a leading expert on fabric technologies.
Greg Ferro
Greg Ferro is a Network Engineer/Architect, mostly focussed on Data Centre, Security Infrastructure, and recently Virtualization. He has over 20 years in IT, in wide range of employers working as a freelance consultant including Finance, Service Providers and Online Companies. He is CCIE#6920 and has a few ideas about the world, but not enough to really count. He is a host on the Packet Pushers Podcast, blogger at and on Twitter @etherealmind and Google Plus.
Greg Ferro
Greg Ferro
Greg Ferro
  • Paul A. Leroux

    from the ashes rises the phoenix. its been 3 years since Avaya’s purchase of the Nortel data product line. And although it wasn’t going to happen over night, Avaya will soon be in the conversation for big enterprise data and amongst the top 3 vendors where Nortel once was only 8-9 years ago. The only thing in Avaya’s way is the unfortunate culture and mindset that your switches and routers need to painted Green, Blue, or that HP brown hue to be worthy. Its simply not true as the lines between features, performance and resiliency amongst the vendors is getting thinner and thinner. As all vendor’s products basically do the same thing…… innovation, price, life cycle, ROI, and usability will be the big differentiators in the future.

    Just for fun, have your local VAR or partner quote you a VSP7000 or VSP9000 and hold that up to what bought your last Nexus 5000 or 7000 switch at.

    PS: please invite Paul U back for an un-sponsored show so things can be more candid.

  • guest

    According to the following Wikipedia statistics the IEEE 802.1aq
    protocol is generating more than double the public interest as the TRILL