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Active/Active use of 2 Catalyst 3650 core switches and Catalyst 500 Access switch

Posted on 2008-11-03
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We have a network infrastructure containing 2 Catalyst 3560's and several Catalayst 500 Express. The 3560's are used ase core switches, the 500's are access switches for phones and desktops.

The 2 3560's are connected directly with two interfaces (copper), no etherchannels of special portsettings. In my opinion, the 3560's act as an active/passive cluster. I would like to have an active/active cluster. Looking at the attached images, I think that NIC 3 and NIC 4 of the server are only connected for redundancy in case of failure of a 3560.

The 500's are connected with the two Gbit interfaces to both 3560's. STP shuts down one of these connections. This ends up in all client traffic redirected to one 3560. This makes me think only NIC 1 and 2 from the server are used. Is this correct ? How can I optimize the situation so all network traffic from the clients is divides between both 3560's and so all server NIC's ?
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Question by:buddhole
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Don Johnston earned 500 total points
ID: 22868711
Simple answer is that you can't. You cannot have more than one layer 2 path between any two devices. If you did, a broadcast storm would result which could prevent any traffic legitimate traffic from moving.

If all the NIC's on the server are in the same network (broadcast domain) then all but one will be disabled.

The only work-arounds to this would be either to use etherchannel (which require the additional link be between the same devices) or put half the devices in one VLAN and the remaining devices in another VLAN. This would require the NIC's on the server to be in different VLAN also.
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by:buddhole
ID: 22870262
What about putting half om the 500's on one 3560 and the rest on the other using Etherchannels like you suggested ? I now have the feeling that a pretty expensive switch (for smb) is doing almost nothing. In case of failure we only need to reconfigure one of the switches.
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