Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS) is Brocade's brand of datacenter ethernet switching. VCS allows for the creation of a network fabric that's capable of converging storage and data traffic via standards-based datacenter bridging. It also solves the “Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) problem” by implementing a standards-based TRILL data plane paired with their own control plane in the form of Fabric Shortest Path First (FSPF). This data + control plane enable the “routing” of MAC addresses through the fabric, negates the need for STP, enables the use of all cabled links, and prevents traffic loops. VCS is only (currently) available on the VDX line of switches from Brocade.
In this post I'm going to outline five aspects of VCS that I found particularly interesting or unique. This is a companion article to an earlier one titled Five Functional Facts about FabricPath where I broke down five features of Cisco's fabric technology.