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Deploying the GbE2 into a Cisco network

M Thornbury
Occasional Visitor

Deploying the GbE2 into a Cisco network

I have reviewed the HowTo/ White paper http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00110112/c00110112.pdf

But I am confused...

It offers three topology models for interconnection, but the instructions for implementing the third model (straight-through) seems to be the same as for the 'Partial Mesh' topology.

Am I missing something?

In addition, this How To and others relating to the GbE2 /BLxxP servers are out of date, in that they are still indicate the iLo being part of the network backbone... this is not the case and hasn't been since the BL20p, as far s I am aware.

Does anyone know of a mechanism to feedback to HP that these documents are incorrect?

When I configured my 3 blade chassis using this document and connecting to a couple of 3750 Catalyst switches, my network went ever so slightly wrong :)

Any help on setting up the 'Straight-through' topology would be gratefully received...
4 REPLIES
Connery
Trusted Contributor

Re: Deploying the GbE2 into a Cisco network

Hi M Thornbury,
The whitepaper, while out of date in regards to iLO connectivity, should still prove useful as a general guideline. For instance, how STP is implemented won't be different or how uplinks are configured won't be different.

The iLO connectivity is different for the enhanced enclosure only. With the enhanced enclosure, the iLOs are aggregated out of the managment module in the rear. To account for the iLO change, simply configure the odd ports on switch B to be the same as another data NIC (Switch A odd or even ports or Switch B even ports). Since all iLOs are aggregated with the enhanced enclosure, absolutely no iLO configuration is needed on the GbE2s anymore.

What questions do you need answered about the straight-through topology? I will try to fill in where the document left out or provide correct information where the document is wrong.

The main point for the straight-through topology is the configuration of the 4-port channel/trunk on each GbE2. You will need to do the following on switch A and B:
GbE2>> /cfg/trunk 2
GbE2>> ena
GbE2>> add 19
GbE2>> add 20
GbE2>> add 21
GbE2>> add 22

You will also need to make sure that all 4 Cisco ports (that match to each GbE2's set of 4 ports ) are also configured as a channel.

Lastly, be sure and assign all necessary VLANs to GbE2 A and B ports 19-22. Basically, all four ports should be configured identically.

Best regards,
-sean
M Thornbury
Occasional Visitor

Re: Deploying the GbE2 into a Cisco network

Sean,

Thanks for your timely response.

In the configuration notes for the 'straight-through' topology in the 'port configuration' section it says to disable ports 17 & 18... is this really the case?

I have found a number of out-of-date or incorrect documents in the past, but cannot find a mechanism for passig this information back to HP - do you kow of a way? The feedback mechanism doesn't cover technical documents and White Papers.

Thanks for your help,

Mike
Connery
Trusted Contributor

Re: Deploying the GbE2 into a Cisco network

As far as the crossconnects are concerned, it's up to you as to whether or not you want to use them. There isn't an industry standard definition of "straight-through" that says crossconnects should or shouldn't be enabled. You should weight the pros and cons and make the decision based on your environment's needs.

I would recommend that you use the crossconnects unless you don't want to mess with running spanning tree on the GbE2 switches. If you want to turn off spanning tree on the GbE2 switches for simplicity/ease of management, then disabling the crossconnects allows you to do this since there are no redundany paths that would cause a loop (all four ports, 19-22, are channeled/trunked together as a single virtual port).

For server network redundancy, you can use NIC Teaming instead. With each blade server having at least one NIC connected to each switch, NIC Teaming allows you to provide server network redundancy without having redudant blade switch uplinks and running spanning tree.

I highly recommend looking into the Intelligent Networking Pack (INP) for HP NIC Teaming on Windows. INP provides extremely intelligent failover mechanisms (Active Path, Fast Path, and Router Path) that works very well with a straight-through topology with no redundant uplinks or crossconnects.

Here is another whitepaper that will provide most of the information you need about NIC Teaming on Windows. I wrote this one so I can say that it doesn't have as many errors as the switch whitepaper you have been referring to... :-)
ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/products/servers/networking/TeamingWP.pdf

As far as a feedback mechanism, unfortunately, I do not know of any. I really wish we had an easy way for customers to report whitepaper and documentation errors without the hassle of opening a support case, but we don't.

Feel free to post to this thread all switch or NIC whitepaper problems that you currently know about and I will feed them back to the responsible party.

Best regards,
-sean
M Thornbury
Occasional Visitor

Re: Deploying the GbE2 into a Cisco network

Sean,


Thanks for the response - very informative and timely!

I have already teamed my NICs andI would love for the company to buy the teaming add-on, but as is normal with most cost-conscious outfits, it will never happen :(

Again,

thanks very much for your help.

Regards,

Mike