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HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 connected to Cisco Virtual Switching System(VSS)

 
chuckk281
Trusted Contributor

HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 connected to Cisco Virtual Switching System(VSS)

Guenter needed some input when connecting Virtual Connect to a Cisco VSS environment:

 

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We are currently working on a huge SAP replacement project, where our customer wants to get the benefits of our HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 technology. Our customer is using a Cisco VSS solution in the networking backend

 

My questions:

 

Is it supported to connect VC to Cisco VSS ?

Are there any known problems with HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 in conjunction with the Cisco VSS solution ?

 

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We had Ken and Lionel, both provided some good advice:

 

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Ken simply stated: 

 

There are no issues connecting VC to Cisco Catalyst VSS or Nexus vPC.  The upstream switches look like a single device from an LACP perspective.

  

Lionel explained further:

Make sure you understand the details below when implementing VSS or vPC with Virtual Connect:

 

First VSS (Catalyst) and vPC (Nexus) are used at the server edge to get rid of the Spanning Tree (and all the STP drawbacks: delays, BPDU exchange, etc.) but this is not really useful for Virtual Connect as Virtual Connect does not use any Spanning protocol on the VC uplinks (we use a loop prevention mechanism per vNet which always make sure only one VC uplink is active at any one time)

 

Secondly on the VC side, remember the limitation: we cannot have a LAG across 2 VC modules so VSS/vPC does not help on the VC redundancy so you still end up to create an Active/Active scenario with 2 vNet to get the VC redundancy…

 

Remember, the LAG (link aggregation group) requires multiple ports from a single VC-Enet Module to be connected to:

- a single external switch (for none VSS/vPC enabled switch). 

 

- 2 external switches (for VSS/vPC enabled switch). 

 

So again with VSS or vPC, all ports on the VC side must belong to the same VC-Enet physical module.

  

Thirdly, there is a good added value for us when using VSS-vPC : Smartlink can be put aside in this typical scenario

 

The use of VSS/vPC improves a little bit the redundancy: for each LAG you have 2 upstream switches (instead of one for the A/A scenario) So in the case of one upstream switch failure, there is no impact on the server traffic, both vNet-1 and vNet-2  are still up and running with still one port active, consequently there is no teaming failover and Smartlink with all its heavy requirements with Flex-10 (drivers, FW, etc.) is not a requisite in this scenario (good for ESX 3.5/Flex-10 as VMware does not provide a Broadcom DCC driver required for Smartlink).

 

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Some great info. Do you have any examples you would like to provide? Let us know.

6 REPLIES
gnijs444
Advisor

Re: HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 connected to Cisco Virtual Switching System(VSS)

I agree. When using HP Virtual connect to connect directly to VSS, i recommend creating two uplinks for each HP VC module: so HPVC Module 1 -> 2 uplinks -> one to VSS1, other to VSS2, create a MCE using LACP.

HPVC Module2 -> 2uplinks -> one to VSS1, other to VSS2, create a MCE using LACP.

HP module will bundle the LACP links automatically (per MODULE) into a LAG (= the HP word for Etherchannel)

 

regards,

Geert

GreenIT
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 connected to Cisco Virtual Switching System(VSS)

Hi Guys,

 

I know this is a older task, but still actual for me ;)

 

I'm looking for the right strategy to connect Flex-10 modules to our Nexus infrastructure. At the moment we are using vPC, but because of the missing feature to adjust the LACP timer on the Virtual Connect site, no chance to use ISSU for the Nexus switches (same with normal port channels). I like the vPC, because they are easy to extend and we wouldn't have an impact (Teaming failover) if one of the Nexus get out of service. On the other hand ISSU is a killer feature and make FW upgrades much more easier.

Does we have to back to "traditional" 1:1 uplinks (multiple uplinks if we use VMware & NFS) - no port channeling?

 

The easiest solution for me would be, that HP integrates an adjustable LACP timer in the VC Firmware :)

 

Thanks for comments

Thomas

Hongjun Ma
Trusted Contributor

Re: HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 connected to Cisco Virtual Switching System(VSS)

VC team will add the support for normal LACP timer in the future release. Right now VC uses fast LACP timer.

 

You can also contact HP account team to let them push VC team to make this enhancement as higher priority.

My VC blog: http://hongjunma.wordpress.com



GreenIT
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 connected to Cisco Virtual Switching System(VSS)

OK - definitely something we will try together with our account team. LACP timer adjustements shouldn't be so difficult.

 

Thanks.

din_mind
Occasional Visitor

Re: HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 connected to Cisco Virtual Switching System(VSS)

Hi,

 

Is there any new firmware version available for VC Flex-10 now? The configurable LACP timer option really important for organization to perform Nexus-OS ISSU non-disruptive upgrade.

Hongjun Ma
Trusted Contributor

Re: HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 connected to Cisco Virtual Switching System(VSS)

VC team is working on it. For roadmap details, please check with your local HP partner or account team. thanks.

My VC blog: http://hongjunma.wordpress.com