Network OS Administration Guide

Supporting Network OS 6.0.1a

Part Number: 53-1003768-04

How RBridges work

RBridges find each other by exchanging FSPF Hello frames. Like all TRILL IS-IS frames, Hello frames are transparently forwarded by RBridges and are processed by RBridge Inter-Switch Link (ISL) ports. Using the information exchanged in the Hello frames, the RBridges on each link elect the designated RBridge for that link.

The RBridge link state includes information such as VLAN connectivity, multicast listeners, and multicast router attachment, claimed nicknames, and supported ingress-to-egress options. The designated RBridge specifies the appointed forwarder for each VLAN on the link (which could be itself) and the designated VLAN for inter-RBridge communication. The appointed forwarder handles native frames to and from that link in that VLAN.

The Ingress RBridge function encapsulates frames from the link into a TRILL data frame. The Egress RBridge function decapsulates native frames destined for the link from the TRILL data frames. TRILL data frames with known unicast destinations are forwarded by RBridge next hop. Multi-destination frames (broadcast, unknown unicast, and multicast) are forwarded on a tree rooted at the multicast root RBridge.

  • Unicast forwarding is handled by combining domain routing generated by FSPF and MAC-to-RBridge learning generated by MAC learning and a distributed MAC database.
  • Multicast forwarding usually uses one tree that is rooted at the RBridge with the lowest RBridge ID. However, there are several rules for Multicast root tree selection. It is not always the lowest RBridge ID.

If a duplicated RBridge ID is found while the links are still coming up, the links are segmented. Both sides recognize the error and segment the link. If the RBridge ID overlap cannot be found at ISL link bringup time (in the case where a new switch is brought from an offline state into the fabric) it will be found during the fabric build and the conflicting switch is isolated.

An RBridge requests a specific RBridge ID from the coordinator switch. If the coordinator switch detects that this RBridge ID is already used, it returns the next unused RBridge ID. The requesting RBridge is not allowed to take another RBridge ID and it segments itself from the fabric. In this case, you cannot boot the ISLs. The ISLs have to be explicitly disabled and then enabled again in order for the RBridge with the overlapping RBridge ID to be removed.