July 2017

This guide covers deployment of leaf-spine networks in the data center with Dell EMC Networking multilayer switches at the leaf and spine layers.

Note: For the full version of this guide that adds examples with Cisco Nexus spines, see the Leaf-Spine Deployment and Best Practices Guide.

Due to increasing east-west traffic within the data center (server-server, server-storage, etc.), an alternative to the traditional access-aggregation-core network model is becoming more widely used. This architecture is known as a leaf-spine network and is designed to minimize the number of hops between hosts.

The connections between leaf and spine switches can be layer 2 (switched) or layer 3 (routed). This deployment guide provides step-by-step configuration examples of both topologies. The objective is to enable a network administrator or engineer with traditional networking experience to deploy a layer 2 or layer 3 leaf-spine architecture using the examples provided.