Campus Fabric

Campus Fabric is sometimes referred to as Switch Port Extender (SPX).

Campus Fabric creates a more scalable architecture based on IEEE 802.1BR standards. Brocade Campus Fabric architecture adds Brocade ICX 7450 or ICX 7250 devices configured as port extenders (PEs), or PE units, to a set of Brocade ICX 7750 stack units configured as the control bridge. The ICX 7750 control bridge (CB) provides a single point of management for the extended network. Active and standby controller functions are retained and continue to provide hitless recovery as well as extended administrative functions. Campus Fabric greatly increases the number of access devices that the network can support. The distributed CB at the center of Campus Fabric architecture manages PE units and hundreds to thousands of ports at the network edge.

PE units are standards-based devices. Typically lower in cost, PE units rely on the CB for most network functions. As the network expands, new PE units can be detected and added to the network automatically using defined Campus Fabric communication protocols. PE units also inherit Premium-license features from the CB, which further reduces cost.

Campus Fabric architecture simplifies network management by unifying core, aggregation, and access functions. As illustrated in the following figure, a core stack (distributed chassis) serving as the CB connects to downstream Campus Fabric (PE) units that aggregate large numbers of access devices.

Figure 2  Campus Fabric domain build-out from an ICX 7750 CB stack

The following figure depicts three separate campuses, each with its own Campus Fabric domain, interconnected with a high-speed backbone.

Figure 3  Distributed campus network formed from connected Campus Fabric domains