Understanding Interconnect Devices

 

Interconnect devices in a QFabric system provide a way for the Node devices to connect with one another over a high-speed backplane. By understanding the role of Interconnect devices, you can harness the benefits of low latency, superb scalability, and minimum packet processing offered by a single-tier data center architecture.

Interconnect Device Introduction

Interconnect devices act as the primary fabric for data plane traffic traversing the QFabric system between Node devices. The main task for the Interconnect devices is to transfer traffic between the Node devices as quickly as possible across a high-speed, available path backplane. To reduce latency to a minimum, larger Interconnect devices (such as the QFX3008-I Interconnect device) implement multistage Clos switching to provide nonblocking connections between any of the Node devices in the system. Figure 1 shows an example of how Clos switching works in the QFX3008-I Interconnect device.

Figure 1: Clos Switching for QFX3008-I Interconnect Devices
Clos Switching for QFX3008-I
Interconnect Devices

Traffic enters a QSFP+ port from a Node device, and an ingress chipset provides stage F1 processing. For the F2 stage, the frame is sent to a rear card and processed by a midplane chipset. Lastly, an egress chipset on the front card QSFP+ port handles processing tasks for the F3 stage. At each of the three Clos stages, a switching table chooses the best path and determines where to send the frame to reach the next stage. The F1 and F3 stages can be handled by the same front card or different front cards, depending on the best path selected by the fabric. After the frame traverses the Interconnect device backplane, the Interconnect device sends the frame to the egress Node device.

QFX3008-I Interconnect Devices

The QFX3008-I Interconnect device contains eight slots in the front of the chassis. In each slot, you can install a front card containing 16 40-Gbps quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+) ports. A fully configured system offers a total capacity of 128 QSFP+ connections. These front card ports attach to the high-speed backplane to reach the eight slots in the rear of the chassis, which provide the heavy-duty interconnections for the entire QFX3000-G QFabric system. In addition, four interfaces (two per Control Board) provide Gigabit Ethernet access to the control plane management network. Figure 2 shows an example of the data plane and control plane connections for QFX3008-I Interconnect devices.

Figure 2: QFX3008-I Data Plane and Control Plane Connections
QFX3008-I Data Plane and Control
Plane Connections

QFX3600-I Interconnect Devices

The QFX3600-I Interconnect device has 16 40-Gbps quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+) ports that provide interconnections for the entire QFX3000-M QFabric system. In addition, two management ports provide Gigabit Ethernet access to the control plane management network. Figure 3 shows an example of the data plane and control plane connections for a QFX3600-I Interconnect device.

Figure 3: QFX3600-I Data Plane and Control Plane Connections
QFX3600-I Data Plane and
Control Plane Connections

QFX5100-24Q Interconnect Devices

The QFX5100-24Q switch can be configured to operate either as an Interconnect device or as a Node device in a QFX3000-M QFabric system. The QFX5100-24Q has 24 40-Gbps QSFP+ ports and can hold an additional 8 40-Gbps QSFP+ ports. These QSFP+ ports provide interconnects for the entire QFabric system. QFX5100 devices have a minimum of two management ports: a 10/100/1000BASE-T RJ-45 port and a 1-Gbps SFP ports. If you plan to use all fiber connections, be sure to order the product SKUs have an additional 1-Gbps SFP port that can be used either for fiber or copper connections.

Figure 4: QFX5100-24Q Data Plane and Control Plane Connections
QFX5100-24Q Data
Plane and Control Plane Connections