I have a new deployment with universal hardware switches, now we have to take a decision about the architecture:
- tradicional stacks with EXOS? - flexibility SPB cloud with standalon devices?
Im confused about why SPB devices can´t work on stack, and maybe this is a problem for a customers that works with Nortel/Avaya ERS legacy stacks because the number of mgmt IPs grow, but in the other hand with SPB they will have more flexibility and more fault tolereance.
Is there any document with pros and cons? Comparative whitepaper?
It is no longer true that VOSS is only for the core, in the past year and a half, since release VOSS8.3 and 8.4, VOSS has taken on all the necessary edge/access features, in particular around NAC and auto-sense. There was a decision to fully automate not only the fabric forming, but also the access port configuration, and this is achieved via the new auto-sense capability which, if in particular if deployed with NAC, now allows complete zero touch of the fabric edge.
Stacking is an old concept, and delivers a clear benefit when weighing the need to configure the wiring closet switches. It is clearly easier to configure a stack of 8 units, than it would be to configure those 8 units individually. But if you have a solution where you don't need to configure the wiring closet switches anymore, then where's the value of stacking ?
Besides, stacking is not simple, there is a lot of software complexity under the bonnet to make stacks work, and that inevitably translates in some downsides: setting up the stack to start with is a pain; stack failures are rare but can happen and are a pain to troubleshoot/correct; upgrading a stack usually takes out all the units at once; and a stack usually requires uplinks into an MLAG distribution layer, which obviously needs provisioning upfront.
Fabric edge is a new way of designing networks, and goes hand in hand with the auto-sense functionality, and does away with stacking. It also does away with requiring an MLAG distribution. And there are no more constraints on how to wire up the wiring closet. If you want to wire it up as in the stacking days, you can, but if you want to have more diverse wiring topology, you can have one wiring closet connect to the next one, in a ring like topology; or you could have a triangular distribution with wiring closets dual homed into each side of the triangle. The flexibility is the key.