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Stacking and VLAN connectivity

Occasional Visitor

Stacking and VLAN connectivity

Just started using HP Procurves after years of Cisco and the H3C/HP A-series stuff which is so similar to Cisco its uncanny.  Unfortunately this means the VLAN setup on Procurves looks like algebra to me because its so different, so I'm asking for some help.  Also the stacking appears a little 'feature poor' after the other stuff, so I've probably got that wrong as well.


I've just installed three 2530 switches and created a stack by setting the first as commander, the other 2 to auto-join.  I patched port 1 & 2 on the commander to port 1 on each of the member switches, and I could successfully see them.  I was hoping that I could then run the stack as a single switch, with the interfaces, VLANs, etc looking as a single switch.  Apparently not.


Is stacking on this switch simply so I can telnet to each from a single switch, it doesn't amalgamate the switches in any other way?

Does stacking them mean they're effectively trunked?  I've got the same 2 VLANs on each switch, are they linked by the stack or do I have to add trunking commands?  Do I need to add another separate cable and trunk them?


The whole tag/untag/trk/trunk thing is losing me.  On the A-series and Ciscos the port is trunk or access, and there's no real confusion, but these port settings seem to overlap a lot.  Any clear tutorials out there?


Thanks for putting up with my stupidity, and any help much appreciated.

Fredrik Lönnman
Honored Contributor

Re: Stacking and VLAN connectivity

"stacking" on the procurves are nothing more than what you see with the commander/member stuff. You get one point of entry where you can jump to the other members, no distributed LAG, control-plane or anything else you get with real stacking like IRF and Stackwise.


As for the VLAN stanza, just download a configuration guide and you'll be set. But as a quick one, procurve doesnt have the notion of access- or trunk-interfaces and the VLAN<->port membership is done on the VLAN and not the port. If you put vlan 123 untagged on port 1 thats an "access" port. If you put vlan 123, 555 and 918 tagged on port 3 thats a "trunk".


This is a great reference since you know H3C and Cisco since before:

CCIE Service Provider
MASE Network Infrastructure [2011]

Trusted Contributor

Re: Stacking and VLAN connectivity

Personally, I find that there is no network vendor's gear that is as intuitively easy to learn to configure than Procurve.

(Like Nortel, there is a "menu" you can run off the CLI which you might find quite useful to understand the switch and how it is configured. But unlike Nortel, VLANs are easy enough to configure on the CLI.)


The first thing is to map your Cisco terminology onto its Procurve equivalent:

 - A "trunk" in procurve-speak has NOTHING to do with VLANs. So "Trunk" = "Link-aggregate".

 - A Procurve doesn't require you to define ports as either "access" or "trunk".

 - A port isn't configured with a VLAN, the VLANs are configured with member ports.

 - You can assign a port to one VLAN as "Untagged" if you want a Cisco "Access" port.

 - You can assign it to any number of VLANs as "Tagged" if you want a Cisco "Trunk" port.

 - It is only optional to assign any "Untagged" VLAN to your port with one or more "Tagged" VLANs on it.


I have never, ever used Procurve "stacking". What's the point? It does nothing for you, just like the old 3COM "stacking".

Occasional Contributor

Re: Stacking and VLAN connectivity

Thanks for the info guys (it's me, on my work account).  I'll check out the link you sent but it does clarify things a bit.  I dont really see the point of stacking if it's not going to give the same benefits as a Cisco stack or A-series IRF.  It might save a couple of addresses in the range, but apart from that its just a waste of time.


I've certainly never found the Procurves intuitive in any way, certainly not when most people start with Cisco training and learn that kind of syntax.  I can see why HP ditched their Procurves and made the H3C stuff they procured their enterprise line, its much easier to live with.  I guess its just a case of what you grew up with.