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etherchannel on cisco 3548 switch?

Posted on 2006-07-11
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Last Modified: 2008-01-09
searching around and i havent been able to find that the cisco 3548 switch supports etherchannels.  is that indicating that it does not?  if so, what is the next version that does?
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Question by:WMIF
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24 Comments
 
LVL 22

Author Comment

by:WMIF
ID: 17085654
sorry, heres some version info:


IOS (tm) C3500XL Software (C3500XL-C3H2S-M), Version 12.0(5)WC7, RELEASE SOFTWARE (fc1)

cisco WS-C3548-XL (PowerPC403) processor (revision 0x01) with 16384K/1024K bytes of memory.
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LVL 22

Author Comment

by:WMIF
ID: 17085664
i have a 3560 switch elsewhere on my network and have verified that the channel-group command exists on that one.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Scotty_cisco
ID: 17085747
yeah it supports etherchannel..... how many links are you bonding?

Thanks
scott
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LVL 28

Assisted Solution

by:mikebernhardt
mikebernhardt earned 100 total points
ID: 17085757
Use the port-group command on the interface.
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LVL 12

Accepted Solution

by:
Scotty_cisco earned 100 total points
ID: 17085761
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/tech/tk389/tk213/technologies_configuration_example09186a0080094bc5.shtml

here is the link it is called port grouping though in the older switches.

Thanks
scott
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:mikebernhardt
ID: 17085763
Sorry- it's "port group" without the hyphen.
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LVL 22

Author Comment

by:WMIF
ID: 17085821
ive got a number of hp servers that have a teamed nic, and realized that they were setup as a team, but the switch was never configured for it.  i will probably only do 5 or 6 of the servers that get the heavier traffic.

port group is there.  thanks for that info.

can this be done with the servers online, or it going to interupt traffic at all?
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Scotty_cisco
ID: 17085830
you should not interupt traffic it should just pick up the links one at a time and bundle them into the port group.  if you are only having 2 ports per group then you should be fine but I would still do it off hours just incase.

Thanks
scott
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:mikebernhardt
ID: 17085879
Well... the problem is that the switch will only support Cisco's proprietary PAGP and not the IEE standard LACP. So it's unlikely that you can run your servers with port group on the 3524.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Scotty_cisco
ID: 17085901
There are nic's out there Intel's I believe that did at one time offer this functionality.

Thanks
scott
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LVL 22

Author Comment

by:WMIF
ID: 17086057
from what i understand though is that you can force the pagp to 'on' and that works with non-compatible devices.  is that not true?
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:mikebernhardt
ID: 17086637
Not sure frankly, but I suspect there's more to it than that. PAGP does the negotiation and that can be turned off, but the devices still have to communicate port status via a protocol. If they don't line up correctly, problems occur.
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LVL 22

Author Comment

by:WMIF
ID: 17086786
this is also what i found on the link provided above:

...and on (unconditionally sets the port to channel and does not exchange PAgP frames). A connection between a PAgP-capable switch and a non-PAgP device requires the on mode to form a channel.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Scotty_cisco
ID: 17087167
It should work but you are taking a chance that the host will not be able to reassemble the packet and will request it again.  I would set it up in a test enviroment checking for error's  I have only seen this done with Intel nic's and they were purpose built for this type of load balancing.

Thanks
Scott
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LVL 50

Assisted Solution

by:Don Johnston
Don Johnston earned 100 total points
ID: 17090130
One of the advantages to using a protocol to negoiate the channel is that if there are any problems, the channel is disabled and all interfaces that are members of the channel are placed in an "error-disabled" state. While this results in NO frames being sent, the alternative is a rather impressive broadcast storm.

That said, it will work. But I would only configure it like this during a maintenance window. And shutdown all participating interfaces during configuration. And ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that all interface are configured identically! (speed, duplex, VLAN membership, etc).

-Don
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LVL 22

Author Comment

by:WMIF
ID: 17092126
the hp servers come with the software installed to team the nics together.  they dont seem to be using the full capacity with no configuration on the switch right now.  also because each nic has a different mac, the switch doesnt seem to know about the second nic on each server.  how else would i go about getting this team to work properly?

this is one of the nics from a dl380:
HP NC7782 Gigabit Server Adapter #2

it has an item listed: 'Network Load Balancing' which is described as "This component provides TCP/IP load balancing functionality".


the hp software has a number of options for load balancing.  the current mode is "Transmit Load Balancing with Fault Tolerance (TLB)".  this is with the switch having no configuration and the team mode on the server is set to auto.
other options:
-802.3ad Dynamic with Fault Tolerance
-Switch-assisted Load Balancing with Fault Tolerance (SLB)
-Transmit Load Balancing with Fault Tolerance (TLB)
-Transmit Load Balancing with Fault Tolerance and Preference Order
-Network Fault Tolerance Only (NFT)
-Network Fault Tolerance Only with Preference Order

i cant find anything that mentions PAgP.  does this mean that only the server can transmit with load balance since it cant communicate with the switch?  would a newer switch enable me to get better functionality?
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:mikebernhardt
ID: 17093183
A newer switch definitely would work better, because it will do the standard LACP. But as suggested, you can try what you have during a maintenance window or in a lab.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Scotty_cisco
ID: 17093348
Not to mention the 3548XL's don't have best reputation for stability and performace...the are also EOL and EOS so even if you wanted to get support on them you could not.

Thanks
scott
0
 
LVL 13

Assisted Solution

by:Dr-IP
Dr-IP earned 100 total points
ID: 17099861
The duel NIC solution in HP servers seems better suited for fault tolerance than load balancing on most switches, that is unless most of the traffic is outbound, in that case it’s a good solution. One workaround I have found in a VLANed network is to put each one NIC in each of the two VLAN’s with the most traffic. This isn’t a perfect solution, but in some situations it performs very well, IE a situation where most of the traffic is fairly evenly divided between two VLAN’s.

Maybe it’s time to consider getting a switch that supports that supports gigabit Ethernet for your servers, and has gigabit fiber to connect to your existing switch’s. That way you don’t have to worry too much about NIC teaming performance, as disk performance is most likely to be the bottleneck at that point.
 
Also one thing I should point out, if you are using a standard 33MHZ 32 bit PCI NIC, the PCI bus will be the limiting factor, since maximum transfer rate for 33MHZ 32 bit PCI is 133 MBPS. This is one of the big reasons upgrading workstations to gigabit Ethernet often provides little benefit, most of them are not designed to handle that kind of network bandwidth, and the PCI buss is just one reason it’s generally a waste of money to upgrade workstations to gigabit Ethernet.
 
On servers the situations a lot better, 64 bit PCI busses, running at speeds up to 133 MHZ, and fast SCSI RAIDS with caching RAID controllers to keep data flowing. My advice, if you have servers with features like this, get a gigabit switch for the servers and link it to your other switch’s with gigabit fiber and you won’t have to worry about server NIC’s being an I/0 performance bottleneck.
 
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:fullerms
fullerms earned 100 total points
ID: 17100515
I have configured HP NICs in a team, and TLB is handled entirely by the server. No configuration required on the switch. It works by having only the primary switch responding to arp requests, but both transmitting.

SLB on the other hand is your etherchannel with another name. Not advisable to configure dynamic bonding on the switch, force it to "ON" manually and configure the NICs accordingly. Better to do this during a maintenace window as suggested by the experts. Intel has a good document on NIC teaming on their site, you may want to search thro' Intel's web site for it.
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LVL 22

Author Comment

by:WMIF
ID: 17101708
i do have fiber links between switches throughout my network.  the servers arent pounded that hard all the time, its just the few times that i notice the traffic getting high.  the older servers i have are the dual nic, but all the newer servers ive got are gigabit adapters.  we just cant justify the cost yet of a 3750 gigabit switch.  i was hoping to pick up a little bit extra with the equipment that weve got.
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LVL 22

Author Comment

by:WMIF
ID: 17135055
well, i was able to get this in on a server thats not used as much, and the results werent good.  i had to remove because some clients werent able to connect to that server while others still were.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:fullerms
ID: 17135715
Suggest you  read up on Intel's document and understand the contents before you attempt this on a production network. You may also check the server manufacturer's site for more info.
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LVL 22

Author Comment

by:WMIF
ID: 17158201
well, thanks for all the info guys.  ill split the points.
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