SPB provides MPLS-like VPN services and is significantly simpler to deploy and maintain, and offers a lower TCO

Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) delivers traffic on the shortest path available and enables network virtualization in carrier grade networks and data centres.

802.1aq SPB is an IEEE networking standard with a primary focus on addressing STP challenges. However, SPB is more than just an STP evolution and unlike MPLS, which requires a “stack” of protocols (for example: LDP, OSPF, MP-BGP, among others), SPB relies on a single protocol to provide this functionality: IS-IS (Intermediate System to Intermediate System).

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Intelligent Fabric (iFab) provides further simplification by automating network node provisioning, client device attachment, and dynamic service instantiation. With this simplicity and automation, an ALE-powered SPB solution offers high-end services for a lower TCO.

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The Solution

SPB: An open standard for success

SPB been standardized by both IEEE and IETF, published as 802.1aq and RFC 6329 respectively. ALE actively supports SPB as the standard for network virtualisation, so multi-vendor networks can reap the SPB benefits.

SPB simplifies network with features such as:

  • Scalable, fast-converging, multi-path fabric
  • Multi-tenancy
  • Dynamic service instantiation
  • Edge-only service provisioning
  • Micro-segmentation
  • Non-IP core
  • The Data Plane: IEEE 802.1ah provider backbone bridging
  • The Control Plane: RFC 6329 IS-IS Equal-cost trees

SPB is more than just the evolution of STP

SPB overcomes STP limitation such as unused links, sub-optimal paths, and slow convergence. It creates loop-free topology without blocking links, and offers faster convergence and path optimisation.

Customer Benefits

Shortest Path Bridging benefits

  • Less complex network: Dynamically build and maintain the network topology between nodes
  • Efficient operations: Load share and use all available physical connections making more bandwidth available
  • Cloud-ready network: Transform data center networks into private clouds quickly and easily
  • Improved performance: Seamless, sub-second network changes with a multi-path fabric for traffic distribution
  • IT staff save time: Add, remove and relocate virtual machines using software configuration
  • Reduce potential for human error: Automatic configuration to prevent human errors


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