Recommended L2 switches for a new IXP

Marian Ďurkovič md at
Sat Jan 17 11:02:33 UTC 2015

Last year we installed four 1RU TRILL switches in SIX - see

Our experience after 100 days of production is only the best -  TRILL setup
is pretty straightforward and thanks to IS-IS it provides shortest-path 
IP-like "routing" for L2 ethernet packets over any reasonable topology 
out of the box (without the burden and cost implications of VPLS).
Trident ASICs perform deep packet inspection so ECMP loadbalancing based
on L3 and L4 headers inside TRILL-encapsulated packets works for both IPv4
and IPv6. Port-security is supported on physical ports as well as on LAGs
- and L4 access-lists could be applied at the same time. 

As most 1RU switches are based on Trident ASICs, you just need to pick
a vendor which implements TRILL properly and of course thoroughly test
before deployment. We selected Huawei Cloud Engine 6850 boxes.


> Dear Nanog community
> We are trying to build a new IXP in some US Metro areas where we have
> multiple POPs and I was wondering what do you recommend for L2 switches. I
> know that some IXPs use Nexus, Brocade, Force10 but I don't personally have
> experience with these switches. It would be great if you can share your
> experience and recommendations. There are so many options that I don't know
> if it makes sense to start with a modular switch (usually expensive because
> the backplane, dual dc, dual CPU, etc) or start with a 1RU high density
> switch that support new protocols like Trill and that supposedly allow you
> to create Ethernet Fabric/Clusters. The requirements are simple, 1G/10G
> ports for exchange participants, 40G/100G for uplinks between switches and
> flow support for statistics and traffic analysis.
> Thank you and have a great day.
> Regards

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