Data center network fabric auto deployed in 30 minutes with Dell Fabric Manager

Filed in Dell, Fabrics, Video by on November 1, 2012 7 Comments

This is a basic video demonstration I put together showing how Dell Fabric Manager 1.0 can be used to auto deploy a Leaf/Spine data center networking fabric based on standard Layer 3 routing protocols.

In the video you will see the fabric auto designed, auto configured, auto documented, and auto validated — from scratch — starting with design templates and sizing input.  All of this demonstrated in about 30 minutes without any time-consuming and error prone human-keyboard CLI configuration.  The demo also shows how DFM handles rouge configuration changes, and how DFM automates the process of adding new switches to the fabric.

Additional info:

  • The video shows the deployment of a Layer 3 Leaf/Spine fabric.
  • Future versions of DFM will also support auto deployment of Layer 2 VLT based fabrics.
  • This video shows interfacing with DFM via a web browser GUI.
  • Future versions of DFM will also provide northbound API interfaces.
  • DFM currently supports the Dell Z9000 and Dell S4810 data center switches.

Cheers,
Brad

About the Author ()

Brad Hedlund (CCIE Emeritus #5530) is an Engineering Architect in the CTO office of VMware’s Networking and Security Business Unit (NSBU). Brad’s background in data center networking begins in the mid-1990s with a variety of experience in roles such as IT customer, value added reseller, and vendor, including Cisco and Dell. Brad also writes at the VMware corporate networking virtualization blog at blogs.vmware.com/networkvirtualization

Comments (7)

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  1. Dimitris says:

    Useful video, thanks.

    The switch configuration looks like it is done with expect-like sessions… SNMP or other similar protocols are not considered useful even for such network management applications?

    • Brad Hedlund says:

      The switch configurations are actually delivered with TFTP.
      1) DFM generates the config
      2) DFM places the config on a TFTP server
      3) DFM logs in to the switch CLI and tells it to “copy from TFTP to start” and reboot.

    • Simon Leinen says:

      SNMP is rarely used for configuration. To address configuration tasks, the IETF has recently standardized a new protocol called NETCONF (RFC 6241). Conceivably that could be used here instead of the CLI/TFTP combination – once switches implement NETCONF and suitable data models.

  2. Rick Verdier says:

    Brad, great to meet you this week in Santa Clara, CA. I enjoyed your session at City Blitz and, as advertised, this is a great overview of DFM. Looking forward to digesting addiitonal technical input from your page.

  3. Amit says:

    Hi Brad,

    Just a couple questions- what tunneling technology is supported for East-West traffic? Can DFM setup these tunnels?

    Regards,
    Amit.

    • Brad Hedlund says:

      Amit,
      If it’s a server virtualization cluster, the virtual Layer 2 tunneling technology is instrumented at the edge hypervisor software switch. DFM’s job is to manage the configuration and deployment of the physical network fabric, the underlay. DFM doesn’t care about the tunnels used by the hypervisor software switch and plays no role in setting up the virtual network, the overlay.

      Cheers,
      Brad

  4. Great video. Haven’t tried Fabric Manager yet but definitely intend on doing so sometime in the next few months. Thanks!

    - Greg

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