another reg article and no mention of X-series
Another article about networking and no mention of the Black Diamond X-Series huh. 768 line rate 10GbE or 192 line rate 40GbE in 1/3rd of a rack. Twice the switching fabric vs the next closest competitor solution, half the power. The new Dell Force10 Leaf/Spine system draws a full 4 times more power and easily 3 times more rack space for the same sort of setup). Next generation fabric interconnect. Very cost effective. The X-series powered the SC11 conference not long ago.
Ethernet has powered the hyper scale cloud since the inception of hyper scale clouds, so the statement that ethernet can't do it doesn't make any sense. More than 40% of the top 500 super computers are powered by gigabit ethernet.
You've been able to build networks without STP for many years. I've been doing it for 8 years myself. Protocols have been around for ages, there are a lot of protocols whether things like ESRP, VSRP (not to be confused with VRRP), EAPS, M-LAG are the ones I can name off the top of my head at least, and I don't consider myself a network engineer by trade.