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802.3ad or otherwise nic bonding on windows to 2 different switches (powerconnects)

Posted on 2009-05-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I've done this before on both Windows 2003 and Linux (RHEL 3.x and 4.x) but I'm scratching my head on how I actually got it to work so hey, might as well ask it here and see what people say.

I have a Windows 2003 RC2 SP2 blade (poweredge 1855) in a chassis with passthru modules.  In essense this gives me two 1Gbps NICs.  I have one passthru going to a powerconnect 5324 (call it sw1) and the other going to an identical powerconnect 5324 (call it sw2).

Each of sw1 and sw2 have a LAG made up of two gb ports connected to a central switch (call it sw3).

So,
Windows blade
  |      |
NIC1  NIC2
  |      |
 sw1  sw2
  |      |
 --sw3--

sw1 and sw2 are not directly connected.  Links between sw3 and sw1/2 are in trunk mode, LAG and have 5-6 VLANs tagged on them

Intel Proset is running on the blade

What I want: whichever port config that allows for redundancy between the two connections to sw1 and sw2.  Example: after set up and running, I want to be able to have sw1 or sw2 die and windows box not lose any pings.

I know in the past this was with the 802.3ad configuration, and I've set that up but when I unplug one of the connections, the whole box loses connectivity and I have to go in on console and tell it to fail over to the working connection. I know in the past, this worked but I can't remember the exact config I used so that it does work.

More important: no loss of connectivity when cable unplugged or switch dies
Less important: bandwidth aggregation (I'm ok with only getting 1gbps)

Note: the kicker here is that each network connection is physically connected to different switches.  If both NICs were connected to a single switch, then this would be cake.  But they're connected to separate switches.  Also, I don't want the standard 30+second convergence time of STP or other methods.  I really want there to be no pings lost if something get disconnected.


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Question by:megawhall
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Quori earned 1500 total points
ID: 24330252
This isn't going to happen easily.

The best way for you to do this, is $$$$. Get 3 x Cisco switches that support stackwise, also get a few stacking cables. Then all 3 switches appear as one and you can trunk across them to your hearts content.

If you're suffering delays due to STP. use RSTP or PVRSTP
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Author Closing Comment

by:megawhall
ID: 31579185
I appreciate the effort.  I think the real answer is stacking with the new M6220 style switches, but I've yet to test it.
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