The Basics of Networking | Network Topology Architectures | Spine-Leaf

Spine-Leaf Network Architecture


The spine-and-leaf network topology is a variation of the three-tier network topology, where the core layer is split into two parts: a spine and a leaf.

The spine layer is made up of high-speed routers or switches that connect all the leaf devices together. These devices are responsible for providing high-speed connectivity between the different parts of the network and they act as the primary point of interconnection.

The leaf layer is made up of access switches that connect end-users or servers to the network. These devices are responsible for connecting end-users to the network and providing basic security features, such as VLANs and access control lists.

In a spine-and-leaf network topology, the leaf devices are connected to multiple spine devices, providing redundancy and high availability. This architecture provides a scalable and fault-tolerant network, and it makes it easy to add new devices and services. The leaf-spine topology can also be used in large and complex networks, like data centers, to provide high-speed and low-latency connectivity between servers and storage devices, allowing them to handle high traffic and big data.

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About the Author:

Andres Sarmiento, CCIE # 53520
With over 18 years of professional experience, Andres is a specialist in Unified Communications and Collaboration technologies, Enterprise Networks, and Network Security. He has consulted for numerous companies in South Florida, including Financial Institutions, on behalf of Cisco Systems. Andres has played a key role in several high-profile implementations, utilizing Cisco technologies such as Data Center, UC & Collaboration, Contact Center Express, Routing & Switching, Security, and Hosted IPT Service Provider infrastructures.

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