VXLAN BGP EVPN – Basic Concepts – Spine/Leaf Architecture

As part of my studies for CCIE Datacenter, I am reviewing VXLAN BGP EVPN. Part of learning this subject is learning what Spine/Leaf Architecture is.

The easiest way to explain Spine/Leaf Architecture is a two tier design approach, where Access/DC Switches are each homed to a Spine, the spines normally do not touch each other, but in reality this doesn’t mean they can’t we will cover that later but lets stay with the common approach. Nothing touches the spine except the leaf and the leaf is what everything connects to. This architecture is built heavily on routing and multicast. VXLAN BGP EVPN is a layer 2 overlay with layer 3 redundant gateways.

Since I like to use VIRL for my testing I build a simple spine/leaf architecture that we will be using for the introduction of learning this.

You can see from the design above that Leaf’s only connect to Spine’s and Spine’s only connect to Leaf’s, Leaf’s never connect to Leaf’s and Spine’s never connect to Spine’s. Now you may ask what about VPC we will cover that later but in a Spine/Leaf Architecture you use VPC Fabric Peering instead of Direct Peering.

Well that is pretty much all for Spine/Leaf Architecture if you are want to learn more please reference the Cisco Web sites and a great book that I read to learn about VXLAN BGP EVPN is “Building DataCenters with VXLAN BGP EVPN

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