Network Recommendation

I am looking for a simple recommendation for configuring network switches.

My question is what would be the recommend protocols to run and were.

ie should we use VRRP, stp etc. I am just looking for suggestions on what would be the best way to go.

I have attached a picture of the physical connections we have.

All of our closets have stacked switches with two 10gb fiber connections.

We have 2 10gb 24port fibers switches as the distribution switches for all of the closets.

We also have a server core with 5 stacked switches and 2 10gb copper switches.

Every closet has it's own vlan, and we have several vlans in the server stack.  We also have a few vlans that cross closets (wireless vlan in every closet, sec vlan in every closet etc.)

Let me know what other details our needed.

I am just looking for recommendations and why, not how to configure it.


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ffleismaSenior Network EngineerCommented:
Since you have VLANs that are across closets, meaning (yoru wireless VLAN  traverse one closet - to distribution - to another closet, it is best to apply STP. With STP you should define you distribution switches are root bridges.

Secondly, as you managed a lot of VLAN, it would be best to implement VTP (Virtual Trunking Protocol). I'm not sure if you are using Cisco and VTP I believe is Cisco proprietary (I think) but from the looks of it, I'm assuming your not since you mentioned VRRP instead of GLBP or HSRP.

Definitely for first-hop redundancy you should use VRRP (assuming your not using Cisco, then GLBP would be better). When configuring VRRP, you may want to consider balancing you load on the 2 distribution switches. One distribution switch would be assigned as primary for a group of VLANs and the other distribution switch would be assigned as its back-up. For the rest of the remaining VLANs, try pointing it to distribution switch2 as its primary to balance the load.

I'm not sure if you have a core layer connecting your distribution and server layer. Is the Server core you mention connected to your distribution layer?

Also, based from your drawing, you are using Dell correct? Hope I help a bit in what I could share :-)

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hhvhhAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the reply.

Yes, we are using dell switches.

Yes, the core layer will be connected to the distrabution layer.  I did not draw those lines to eliminate confusion.  I have attached another file with what I was thinking about how to connect the server core to the distribution and the stacked server core to the 10gb copper in the server core.

In the drawing attached I assume the maroon connections would be primary and the blue would be secondary and all these connections would use STP.

I also added what I was thinking for the server to distribution connections.

Let me know if this is over kill or not doable.  I am asuming that all of the orange connections would use VRRP?

ffleismaSenior Network EngineerCommented:
if you got a core layer, might as well use the server 10GB as server distribution switches, instead of connecting them to the distribution layer.

one thing that didn't come to me a while ago, you said you were going to stack the switches, including the distribution switches. I'm not sure on Dell implementation, but for Cisco, when you stack your distribution layer, you won't really have to implement VRRP or STP. Its because when you stack the distribution layer, the access switches will just see one switch, thus eliminating chance of a loop. Now since you have two connections from your stacked access switch towards your stack distribution switch, that would just need Port-channel to be configured, no need for first-hop redundancy (VRRP). Same with STP, no loop there but still it would be better to set your stacked distribution layer as the root bridge.

Layer2 protocols stop at the distribution layer. Meaning VLANs on reach until distribution layer. Use Layer 3 protocols (routing) between distribution layer and core layer.
hhvhhAuthor Commented:
The distribution cannot be stacked so we would need first-hop redundancy.

But I understand what you are getting at.   Layer 2 down to the distribution and then layer 3.

This is kinda what I was thinking, I was looking to see I was missing something.

ffleismaSenior Network EngineerCommented:
glad to help, let us know if your on your proof of concept phase and would try to implement your design. :-)
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Networking Protocols

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