InfoSec News


There are several new protocols that are on their way to being adopted in some form or another. In the previous article we covered how different standards bodies can cover and sometimes govern similar protocols and standards. Here we will discuss two emerging data center orriented standards and how they compete.


First, I would like to draw your attention to a protocol called TRILL or TRansparnet Interconnection of Lots of Links. [1] There are several good sources for a technical overview so I will be brief. In short TRILL is a method of Routing Bridges or RBRidges [4] to exchange link state and does so with another protocol called IS-IS [2] or Intermediate System to Intermediate System.

Before we get lost in our first example of too many cooks making the soup, lets be clear on TRILL using IS-IS that are both published by the IEFT as RFC6327 and RFC 1142. RFC1142 is a republication of an ISO Standards body routing protocol publication. So, RFC6327 uses a standard that that was actually published by the ISO body but republ You see where I am going.

SUPER OVER Simplification (TRILL)

TRILL is desinged to run at Layer 2 in the OSI model and allows for each TRILL switch to exchange link state information. You get enough information shared between TRILL Switches that they can make route discisions for optimized pathing. Here is a great write up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRILL_(computing) on Wikipedia. So basically build a tree of L2 States, trade them, and help them to talk, REALLY Fast Well that's the goal anyways.

Why are we talking about this new Data Center Protocol by the IETF and through republication the ISO?


Enter Protocol number 2, this protocol is brought to you by the good ole folks at the IEEE. If we remember our breakdown from my last diary, we will know they govern things like 802.1 [5] and 802.11 [6]. Why is this relevant? Enter contender number two for datacenter bridging protocols. SPB or Shortest Path Bridging. [7] [8]

SUPER OVER Simplification (SPB)

Use IS-IS (------seeing a trend?) to exchange a tree information to compute shortest path for packets. There is, of course, a lot more to it than the above but hopefully my point is made. Another great write up: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.1aq


So, to recap, the IEFT and the IEEE are working on similar protocols to accomplish similar goals. We will see who Markets the best to gain acceptance but It might be important to understand how many standards bodies have influence on the widgets and tools we implement. With SDN [9] or Software Defined Networking being the new Cloud word, it is good to understand who is shaping the SDN protocols. We can now start to see that many standards bodies go into making the Internet go....

And most of all, awareness of this is good as we are the ones that have to secure it


[1] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6327
[2] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc1142
[3] http://tools.ietf.org/pdf/rfc1142.pdf -- PDF Warning
[4] http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc6325
[5] http://www.ieee802.org/1/
[6] http://www.ieee802.org/11/
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.1aq
[8] http://www.ieee802.org/1/pages/802.1aq.html

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(c) SANS Internet Storm Center. http://isc.sans.edu Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
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