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A5120 - Stacking vs IRF

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WessexOne
Occasional Contributor

A5120 - Stacking vs IRF

Hi,

 

I was hoping someone on this forum might be able to set me straight on the diffence between 'stacking' and 'IRF' (if, in fact, there is a difference).

 

I have two A5120-24G EL switches that I'm looking to 'merge' for redundancy (they will be connecting a SAN to ESXi servers). Each switch has a "HP 5500 2-port 10GbE Local Connect Module" at the back and I have a "HP X230 Local Connect 50cm CX4 Cable" to connect the two.

 

I had thought this was something I'd be able to work out fairly easily. However, even though I've learned a lot over the past day or so trawling though the manuals, I'm still not quite certain if 'IRF' means "two switches become one big switch" and if so, what that means for configuring it.

 

Any clarify shed on "IRF vs Stacking" would be much appreciated.

 

Regards,
Ben

4 REPLIES
Fredrik Lönnman
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: A5120 - Stacking vs IRF

Its basically different words for same thing, BUT different vendors also have different meaning of "stacking". Earlier HP procurve stacking where only management through a "commander", no single IP virtual device, no cross-stack LACP etc. All of thich IRF is. If you know Cisco's 3750 Stackwise, thats how IRF is. "Two switches becomes one big switch" as you put it.

---
CCIE Service Provider
MASE Network Infrastructure [2011]
H3CSE
CCNP R&S

WessexOne
Occasional Contributor

Re: A5120 - Stacking vs IRF

Fredrik, many thanks for the clarification.

 

On a related note, do I actually need the "HP 5500 2-port 10GbE Local Connect Module" to get IRF working or could I just use the four 1000Base-X ports on the front? Some documentation seemed to indicate that I should use these and some documentation seemed to assume the presence of the module.

Fredrik Lönnman
Honored Contributor

Re: A5120 - Stacking vs IRF

The 5120EI needs the 10GbE modules, any 10GbE module will work but the Local Connect Module is the cheapest to use if the switches are adjacent. 

 

On the 5120SI on the other hand you can do IRF with the 1GbE ports.

---
CCIE Service Provider
MASE Network Infrastructure [2011]
H3CSE
CCNP R&S

Hendra18
Occasional Visitor

Re: A5120 - Stacking vs IRF

Do you mean basiclly switch stack different from irf only just management console??

But how about switching capacity or troughput on switch stack? Was aggregate all switch of stack?

 

Thanks,