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Cisco Data Center Spine-and-Leaf Architecture: Design Overview

White Paper Published By: Cisco
Published:  Sep 07, 2016
Type:  White Paper

The data center is at the foundation of modern software technology, serving a critical role in expanding capabilities for enterprises. The traditional data center uses a three-tier architecture, with servers segmented into pods based on location.

In 2010, Cisco introduced virtual-port-channel (vPC) technology to overcome the limitations of Spanning Tree Protocol. vPC eliminates the spanning-tree blocked ports, provides active-active uplink from the access switches to the aggregation routers, and makes full use of the available bandwidth. With vPC technology, Spanning Tree Protocol is still used as a fail-safe mechanism. vPC technology works well in a relatively small data center environment in which most traffic consists of northbound and southbound communication between clients and servers.

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