Leaf-spine is a two-layer network topology composed of leaf switches and spine switches. Servers and storage connect to leaf switches and leaf switches connect to spine switches. Leaf switches mesh into the
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Every leaf switch in a leaf-spine architecture connects to every switch in the network fabric. No matter which leaf switch a server is connected to, it has to cross the same number of devices every time it connects to another server. (The only exception is when the other server is on the same leaf.) This minimizes latency and bottlenecks because each payload only has to travel to a spine switch and another leaf switch to reach its endpoint.
A leaf-spine topology can be layer 2 or layer 3 depending upon whether the links between the leaf and spine layer will be switched or routed. In a layer 2 leaf-spine design, Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links or shortest path bridging takes the place of spanning-tree. All hosts are linked to the fabric and offer a loop-free route to their Ethernet MAC address through a shortest-path-first computation. In a layer 3 design, each link is routed. This approach is most efficient when virtual local area networks are sequestered to individual leaf switches or when a network overlay, like VXLAN, is working.================================
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