Port Trunking between Cisco and Dell

Posted on 2006-05-25
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
This is the situation; I have 3 Switches, Cisco 3500- 48 Port with 2 GBIC Ports, Cisco 3550- 48 Port with 2 GBIC Ports, and a Dell 6024F with 24 SFP slots.

I don't feel stacking them via 1 GB Fiber is going to be enough bandwidth between switches.  I want to trunk the 2 ports on each Cisco switch and trunk two ports each (4 ports) on the Dell switch therefore giving me more bandwidth for stacking.  I currently do not have multiple VLANS setup on the network.

I have all the proper GBIC and SFP cards available, MM Fiber and 1 GB Copper.

My question is, how do I go about doing this the best way?  There is a simple web interface to the 6024F to setup trunking.  Is trunking the best way to go about this?  Also, could someone give me command examples for the Cisco CLI?  I have never updated the switches' firmware and am not very familar with Cisco equipment.

Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.

Question by:krik011
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    you can set up trunking between the Cisco switches, but I'd be doubtful if you get any joy between the Cisco and Dell.
    Mostly due to their implementations of trunking.  
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    I am not in front of a CISCO device, and I don't recall the interface name for the GBIC port (you have to make sure that there is a GBIC device in there before the command can work)

    but I believe the command from global config should go something like

    interface <put interface name here>
    switchport mode trunk
    switchport trunk encapulation dot1q  .... or    .... switchport trunk encapulation isl *

    I believe that dot1q is probably the more popular encapsulation type; but its your choice.

    do this on both Cisco devices.

    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    There are two different things that are referred to as trunking.  ECNSSMT's commands enable VLAN trunking on a given port, which allows traffic from multiple VLANs to be tagged as coming from a particular VLAN and passed along the same physical cable.  For if you have multiple vlans on two switches you can connect them with one cable and enable vlan trunking on the ports that cable is connected to and traffic from both VLANs will pass between the switches on that cable.  The switches will only distribute the packets to the appropriate ports based on the VLAN that source port is in.

    I think that krik011 is asking about creating a trunk using multiple links between two switches to increase bandwidth between the two switches.  There are some details on configuration of EtherChannel for a 3550 switch at  I don't know if Dell switches support this or if it is a proprietary Cisco protocal.

    Author Comment

    Do some switches automatically trunk if it senses the same link twice?
    LVL 14

    Assisted Solution

    Hi krik011,

    Sorry; I had a nice holiday...

    switch ports will not automatically configure for trunking.  


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