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support of IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on current A-Series?

MichaelM55
Trusted Contributor

support of IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on current A-Series?

HP´s Comware based A-series of switches already support IEEE 802.1Q, 802.1ad, 802.1ah and IS-IS. So, I am asking myself whether HP will support IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on e.g. HP A5500-EI, A5800,...?

 

i.e. http://www.nanog.org/meetings/nanog50/presentations/Sunday/IEEE_8021aqShortest_Path.pdf

8 REPLIES
mnantel
Advisor

Re: support of IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on current A-Series?

They will not - the chipset in those products will not be capable of supporting that and there is no plan to support the zillion of new datacenter protocols within Comware 5 that I know of.

 

Comware 7 based products like the 5900 may eventually get those capabilities as TRILL has already been announced on those and the hardware will be able to support this, and I suspect 802.1aq also.

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CCIE 24349, MASE 2011 Networking
Canadian HPN Partner of the Year
MichaelM55
Trusted Contributor

Re: support of IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on current A-Series?

Well,

 

one advantage of IEEE 802.1aq is that you can actually use it on exiting inexpensive ASICs. No need for new hardware. Therefore I asked for the possibility of 802.1aq on current A-series in future software releases..

 

Is Comware V7 already here? http://www.h3c.com.cn/About_H3C/Company_Publication/IP_Lh/2011/06/Home/Catalog/201112/736174_30008_0.htm Are you use it is used on HP´s 5900 series?

 

mnantel
Advisor

Re: support of IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on current A-Series?

I don't have much privileged information on the subject. One can understand how SPBM may require a Mac in Mac capable chipset much like TRILL. While SPBV claims compatibility by using 802.1q I would venture that it is either too costly to bother putting this in Comware 5 months away from 7 and/or that it does still lean on chipset support. Remember that SPBV doesn't provide the isolation capabilities of SPBM or TRILL.
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CCIE 24349, MASE 2011 Networking
Canadian HPN Partner of the Year
MichaelM55
Trusted Contributor

Re: support of IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on current A-Series?

Well, does anyone know the state of SPB with HP A5900 switches, as these ones would be our prefered next TOR switches. The next ones would be Alcatel´s 6900, as there is at least SPB support for now, at least what that Alcatel consultant said last week.

rda
Occasional Advisor

Re: support of IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on current A-Series?

Are SPB or TRILL really needed technologies? AFAIK, they were mostly brought about to fix the VMWare L2 problem. However it seems most Virtualization vendors are hell bent fixing it themselves (VXLAN etc) and having the networking world use L3 where the multipathing problem has long been fixed ;)

 

Cheers,

 

Dan

Peter_Debruyne
Honored Contributor

Re: support of IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on current A-Series?

The 5900 was released with first version of comware 7, so there is no comware 5 for the 5900. The first version was still a bit restricted on features, but HP has now released the version 2207 for the 5900, which includes the new DC protocols (FCOE-FCF, TRILL and EVB (VEPA)). SPB should be available in comware 7, but later in 2013.

 

The 12500 has received the comware 7 updated as well, with the EVI (DC L2 extension over L3 wan) protocol, to provide the stretched vlan functions between datacenters. But in this release no TRILL yet.

It does support the MACinMAC feature, but not in combination with SPB as the forwarding protocol yet. Given all these  new DC protocols (FCOE, EVB, TRILL, MDC, EVI, SPB) I assume it was a matter of priorities in the development.

 

Inside the DC, the current designs typically do not need TRILL/SPB, since the EDGE IRF systems are connected with simple link aggregation to the CORE IRF systems, which provides already a loopfree active-active setup.Knowing that the 5900 will be supporting it, it would be my recommendation, so you keep your options open.

 

Regards,Peter

MichaelM55
Trusted Contributor

Re: support of IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on current A-Series?

Thanks for the updates. So, all new features will be put into Comware 7. What about Comware 5? Will there be a kind of backport for some of those new feature? I think I saw a video somewhere about A58XX series (introduced in, was it 2008?) and think it was told that the lifetime of those is supposed to be 10 years. Asking myself whether that one will receive Comware 7, someday? Or A5500-HI series, which seems to have the same chipsets. Or some older switching hardware, i.e. A5500, A5120,...

Peter_Debruyne
Honored Contributor

Re: support of IEEE 802.1aq (SPB) on current A-Series?

mmm, to be honest, I believe only HP can respond to this, so this would be another question for HP to be (more) open on roadmap/features to be expected on the various platforms.

 

You should make a difference between 'latest and greatest' protocols and a support time. When you get a product, you buy it with the feature set of that moment (unless a vendor explicitly announces 'ready for x'), so any future protocols will always be a bit of a question.

Just as an example, the 3com 5500 (do not confuse with the A5500, which is comware 5) is a comware 3.x switch, latest major firmware update is from 2010, but they keep publishing patches (Pxx), up to last month as I could see.

So it is still being worked on (fixes), but no big new protocols should be expected.

 

So, they could maybe backport some of the CMW7 features, since the chipset of the 58xx seems quite powerfull, but again, it is HP which should doing this type of communication, I am waiting with interest myself...