Show 97 – The Future of TRILL and Spanning Tree – Part 1

TRILL has been on the radar for about three years and while we are seeing some shipping hardware and early deployments, it’s not clear what the current status of TRILL is. This week, Jon Hudson IETF Member for TRILL and Brocade engineer is joined with Andy Shalomon from Cisco, who is conducting testing and deployment on Cisco’s FabricPath for a discussion about where TRILL is today.

Jon Hudson

18yrs in multiple roles such as Network Engineer, Unix Sysadmin, SAN Engineer, Production Ops Architect & Dir of Systems Engineering. Positions within financial, online gaming & manufacturing industries. 

In 2009 joined Brocade from Juniper Networks. At Brocade responsible for Fabric, Virtualization & Cloud Technology as well as TRILL Standards development in the IETF. Co-Author of four IETF Drafts and Co-Inventor of Patent GB2441278. Only owns one Tie.

About Andy Sholomon

Andy Sholomon CCIE No. 15179, works as a Solutions Architect at Cisco Systems. He routinely designs and performs network testing for some of Cisco’s largest enterprise customers. In his eight years at Cisco Andy has been involved in both planning and deploying some of the largest enterprise data centers in the US. He has also worked with some of Cisco’s large Service Provider customers. Before joining Cisco Andy worked as a Network Engineer in the Global Financial Industry. Besides the CCIE Andy holds multiple industry certifications including the CISSP and MCSE and is the author of Enterprise Network Testing for Cisco Press.

Brief Overview – The Future of TRILL – Part 1

  • Introduction to the Hhistory of TRILL and why is was developed, initially by Radia Perlman.
  • Interesting Observations about the progress of TRILL including the development of Multicast solution.
  • That Spanning Tree will take years to die.
  • Spanning Tree and TRILL will interoperate for the next five years or more.
  • Discussion of differing TRILL designs and edge implementations.
  • The Attraction of TRILL for carriers / IXC companies.
  • IETF RFC Working Group –
  • The Great Debate: TRILL Versus 802.1aq (SPB)
  • [Cisco IP Journal – Introduction to TRILL] (
  • Introduction to TRILL – EtherealMind
  • Various posts on TRILL at EtherealMind
  • Jon Hudson blogs at Ethernet Fabric

This show will be continued in Part 2.

Andy Sholomon twitter Jon Hudson twitter

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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
Greg Ferro

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  • Sargun

    Hey, I realize that TRILL is a great buzzword, but we already have standardized technology to address this problem today. I mean, VPLS is fine, but it doesn’t load balance. EVPN has mp2mp load balancing (Draft-raggarwa-sajassi-l2vpn-evpn-01). Why don’t we just use these instead of reinventing the wheel?

    • Jon Hudson

      Well it’s a little late now, where were you 7yrs ago when Radia started this project? 

      • Sargun

        I guess I’m just a little bit curious as to why nobody is pushing these technologies in the datacenter.

        • Jon Hudson

          I would disagree, though I suppose it depends on your part of the world as to how much exposure there is. 

          Today Cisco FabricPath, Brocade VCS as well as Blade (IBM) offer TRILL based switches. This year you’ll see additional TRILL based switches from Dell/Force10, Extreme, Huawei & HP. 

          So I would argrue TRILL is being heavily pushed in the datacenter. 

        • Etherealmind

          In a practical way, the technology is coming to market. because TRILL requires new silicon on the switches, it’s takes about three years to appear in new products.

          There are early products from Brocade using the VCS label, and Cisco has the same called FabricPath. Over the next year, we should see new merchant silicon from Broadcom/Fulcrum etc and this will mean TRILL support from most of the other vendors.

          • Donald E. Eastlake 3rd

            TRILL required new silicon but the silicon is done. All the big merchant silicon manufacturers (Broadcom, Fulcrum/Intel, Marvell, and Mellanox) have shipping chips supporting TRILL as, of course, do Brocade and Cico.

  • Brandon Mangold

    Finally was able to finish this podcast. Another great show with more high quality guests. The only point of contention I have is people saying they ‘hate’ STP. It’s a great protocol that is simple and just works, that is why it is still around! I think people hate having to still use STP because until recently there just were not any real alternatives. But man I love STP just like I love IPv4. I just don’t like having to still rely on them in 2012.

  • Venkatesh

    Good show… Very informative talk from the technology to business point of view.. I love your work guys !!!! Please talk about junipers QFabric technology & business needs.. Thanks a million…