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NIC Teaming with different switches

Posted on 2009-02-24
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We are trying to configure nic teaming on our servers/blades
here are the scenarios :

Network is full redundant with active passive topology.
2 backbone sw <--> 2 distr sw <--> access switches

Here is  the scenario :

We should eliminate the single point of failures, the only spof is the servers, we are planning to use redundant nics on the servers connecting to TWO DIFFERENT Switches. (All switches are Cisco)

I know we can use of nic-teaming software (dual homing, HA) of several vendors for fault tolerance BUT many of the solutions are only for a single switch connection.

We need a high availability (nic-teaming) solution to use with our full redundant network.
And operating systems are being used are Windows 2000-2003, Linux, Solaris

Any specific recommendations are welcome.

Thanks in advance.

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Question by:Phoenixisco
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by:Don Johnston
ID: 23722278
The only only Cisco switch platforms that support multichannel (or split) etherchanneling is the 3750's that are stacked using the stackwise cabling.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps5023/products_configuration_example09186a00806cb982.shtml


And the 6500's using VSS.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/switches/ps5718/ps9336/prod_qas0900aecd806ed74b.html


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lnkevin earned 2000 total points
ID: 23725605
know we can use of nic-teaming software (dual homing, HA) of several vendors for fault tolerance BUT many of the solutions are only for a single switch connection....

This is not true. You connect each of your NIC port to a different switches then use NIC teaming utility to create a team. When you create a team, the software creates a virtual NIC that combines your two NIC to be one. You only use 1 IP address that set in virtual NIC. The two physical NICs suppose to be unselected on IP address value. That said, you created a failover NIC teaming and it's fully redundant. If you try to create a load balancing environment, your two switches need to cross talk to each other. Check page 41 of this guide:
support.dell.com/support/edocs/network/r35278/broadcom%20nic%20teaming_1.1_final.doc

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by:lnkevin
ID: 23725619
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by:Don Johnston
ID: 23725963
 Lnkevin:

On page 42, number 10:

Aggregated      teams (802.3ad \ LACP and GEC\FEC) must be connected to only a single switch that      supports IEEE 802.3a, LACP or GEC/FEC.
  <!--[if gte mso 9]>   Normal  0          false  false  false    EN-US  X-NONE  X-NONE                                       MicrosoftInternetExplorer4                                     <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]>                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    <![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 10]><![endif]-->
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by:Don Johnston
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Yikes!

Sorry about the metadata guys. I've posted a request to delete the post.

Here it is again (hopefully without the additional data). :-)

Lnkevin:

On page 42, number 10:

Aggregated teams (802.3ad \ LACP and GEC\FEC) must be connected to only a single switch that supports IEEE 802.3a, LACP or GEC/FEC.


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by:lnkevin
ID: 23726180
My bad, page 28 and 29 for failover teaming. :-D

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by:Don Johnston
ID: 23727125
Good to know that Dell supports multichassis etherchannel.
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by:andyalder
ID: 23727559
If etherchannel is spread across two redundant LANs don't you run the risk of accidentally joining the 2 LANs together into a single fault domain where one misplaced management command can break both LANs?

It's hard enough keeping the networks seperate in a simple 2 switch SAN environment at the back end, you must guard against someone plugging a crossover between the 2 networks and merging the fabrics. It must be even harder on the LAN side since your management protocols go over the same medium as your traffic.
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by:Don Johnston
ID: 23728033
>If etherchannel is spread across two redundant LANs don't you run the risk of accidentally joining the 2 LANs together into a single fault domain where one misplaced management command can break both LANs?

The etherchannel isn't between two LANs. The links are on a common LAN (broadcast domain).

But yes, if the link between the switches fail, it could get... interesting. But that's why you would have redundant links between the switches.
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