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Blade teaming with two NVCs an two Cisco switches

Calvin Staples
Frequent Advisor

Blade teaming with two NVCs an two Cisco switches

I am looking for the best way to cable the Cisco switches, the network virtual connects, and the team configuration to provide both the fastest throughput and protect against packet loss in the event of a NVC fail over, network cable disconnect, or Cisco switch failure. The "HP Virtual Connect for the Cisco Network Administrator" covers a lot of configurations but I don't see any configurations showing redundent Cisco switches. We are using 802.3ad and 802.1Q ether channel trunks.
5 REPLIES
John Cagle
Frequent Advisor

Blade teaming with two NVCs an two Cisco switches

Have you taken a look at the VC cookbook yet? I think it was just made available today. It has a few Cisco configs to look at: http://bizsupport.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c01471917/c01471917.pdf
semcgee
Occasional Visitor

Blade teaming with two NVCs an two Cisco switches

Even though the "HP Virtual Connect for the Cisco Network Administrator" whitepaper doesn't show multiple external switches, they are supported. The only time VC requires it's ports to be connected to the same external switch is for 802.3ad (port trunking\channeling). For any two or more ports that are in the same port channel, VC requires those ports to be connected to the same external switch (or to the same external virtual switch stack.) For example, in figures 7 & 8, all of the VC ports could be connected to different external switches as long as all switches were interconnected somehow (directly or via a link to the core). In figures 9, 13, & 14, the VC 1 ports 1 & 2 would have to be connected to the same external switch but VC 2 ports 1 & 2 could be connected to a differenet external switch. I hope this helps. Please post any follow-up questions you have. Best regards, -sean
Calvin Staples
Frequent Advisor

Blade teaming with two NVCs an two Cisco switches

Thank you for your prompt response. My main interest is in figure 13 for Windows and figure 14 for ESX servers. We have 4 network connections on each virtual connect going to two Cisco switches. The four connections form an Ether Channel Trunk are using 802.1Q and 802.3ad on each switch. I presume that we should use Smart Link also. Does the Port Fast/Port Fast Trunk help with the failover process? I know there shouldn't be any spanning tree involved. As I understand it, this would be a good configuration? For the Windows (Figure 13) what would the optimum teaming configuration be? I understand the VMware vSwitch handles the teaming internally. Thx -Cal
jefallen
Occasional Visitor

Blade teaming with two NVCs an two Cisco switches

If you are using 802.1Q (multiple vlans on a single logical link), then yes, PortFast Trunk would help with failover. If using single vlans, PortFast woudl help. VC doesn't participate in external STP, but we cannot overcome what the upstream switch behavior is doing without these settings.
fishmn
Regular Advisor

Blade teaming with two NVCs an two Cisco switches

You do want portfast trunk!! We have a very similar VC configuration with redundant access and distribution layer switching upstream. It won't work right until you make sure to portfast at the trunk level.