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Leaf-spine architecture

(also leaf-spine, spine-leaf architecture)

Leaf-spine architecture definition

Leaf-spine architecture is data center topology with two switching layers — a leaf layer and a spine layer. Leaf switches collect traffic from end devices, while spine switches connect all leaf switches together. Every spine switch is connected to every leaf switch at the same time.

Leaf-spine architecture benefits

Improved redundancy over three-tier architecture

Easy to scale — adding more spine switches solves oversubscription, while adding additional leaf switches addresses port density

Lower latency — in the majority of cases, there are only two hops between the data source and the destination node