The post title alone is cause for fighting in some circles (it’s just an invitation for argument and I know it’s more of a marketing thing than a technically accurate description), but work with me here. On one level or another, there is growing interest and marketing around the concept of being able to eliminate Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) in layer 2 networks and enabling multipathing in bridged networks. It’s hard to have missed Cisco’s plugging of their FabricPath technology, and underneath all the marketing, routing frames from A to B is pretty much what it is about.
For the purposes of this post, we’ll look at why STP is such a beast to begin with (and let’s face it, that could be a multi-part post on its own), then I’ll look in a series of posts at three competing options that would allow you to get rid of it:
- TRILL (in this post)
- Shortest Path Bridging / 802.1aq
- Juniper’s QFabric
Let’s dive straight in then.