Network fabric describes a mesh network topology with virtual or physical network elements, forming a single fabric.
What is it?
This trivial metaphor does not do justice to the industry term, which describes the performance and functionality of mostly L2 & L3 network topologies. For nodes to be interconnected and reach equal connectivity between each other, the term network fabric ( NF) completely omits L1 (trivial) networks.
Primary performance goals include:
- Abundancy — sufficient bandwidth should be present, so each node achieves equal speed when communicating in the topology
- Redundancy — a topology has enough devices, to guarantee availability and failure coverage
- Latency — as low as it can get
For enterprises with a lot of different users and devices connected via a network, maintaining a network fabric is essential to keep up with policies, security, and diverse requirements for each part of a network.
A network controller, like OpenDaylight, or lighty.io, would help see the entire network as a single device — creating a fabric of sorts.
Types & Future
A network topology would traditionally consist of hardware devices — access points, routers, or ethernet switches. We recognize two modern variants:
- Ethernet NF — an ethernet, which recognizes all components in a network, like resources, paths & nodes.
- IP Fabric — utilizes BGP as a routing protocol & EVPN as an overlay
The major enabler of modernizing networking is virtualization, resulting in virtual network fabric.
Virtualization (based on the concept of NFVs — network function virtualization), replaces hardware in a network topology with virtual counterparts. This in turn enables:
- Reduced security risks & errors
- Improved network scaling
- Remote maintenance & support
lighty.io: Network Fabric Management & Automation
Migrating to a fabric-based, automated network is easy with PANTHEON.tech.
lighty.io provides a versatile & user-friendly SDN controller experience, for your virtualized NF.
With ease-of-use in mind and powered by JavaSE, lighty.io is the ideal companion for your NF virtualization plans.
Network controllers, such as lighty.io, help you create, configure & monitor the NF your business requires.
If OpenDaylight is your go-to platform for network automation, you can rely on PANTHEON.tech to provide the best possible support, training, or integration.
Originally published at https://pantheon.tech on June 9, 2021.