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Posted on 2011-10-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
We have a a pair of ASA 5510's in Active/standby connected to another pair of 2960 switches.  One switch is connected to FW1 and the other to FW2.  The switches are connected to each other using etherchannel for redundancy.  Servers are NIC teamed and connected to SW1 and SW2.  

We're quickly running out of ports on these switches and looking to expand our network throughput at the same time.  I want to add a pair of 10 gig switches to the mix, however I'm not sure how to add them while maintaining redundancy.  

What's the best way to connect these switches?  If I connect say SW3 to SW1 and SW2 to SW4 via etherchannel trunks can/should I connect SW3 and 4 together as well?

Thanks in advance!
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Question by:wrinklefree
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by:
Don Johnston earned 672 total points
ID: 36913799
>If I connect say SW3 to SW1 and SW2 to SW4 via etherchannel trunks can/should I connect SW3 and 4 together as well?

I would connect SW3 to SW1 and SW2. Then connect SW4 to SW1 and SW2. Then make sure that you configure either SW1 or SW2 as the spanning-tree root.
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Author Comment

by:wrinklefree
ID: 36913806
So a cris-cross configuration is deal?  Also do you know if I can make etherchannel connections via fiber GBIC connections instead of GigE?
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Expert Comment

by:Don Johnston
ID: 36913838
>So a cris-cross configuration is deal?

Yep.

>Also do you know if I can make etherchannel connections via fiber GBIC connections instead of GigE?

Absolutely.

Now go forth and channel. :-)
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LVL 6

Assisted Solution

by:pgstephan
pgstephan earned 664 total points
ID: 36915086
Guys,

1) Why don't you get one of the new 10Gbps connected to FW2, then start moving your servers to SW4 being the new passive core. Reason being is that you don't want the 2960 to be the core of the network while you have 10G switches downstream.. you will have bottlenecks if high bandwidth server-to-server traffic is required at some point. So put a plan to make SW3 and SW4 as the core of the network, with 2960 being server access.
You can be very creative with the way you migrate the services, and you will end up with a more robust service.
2) Why do you prefer fibre over copper? This is 1Gbps and they're all collocated in the same data hall, save yourself the transceivers cost and unidirectional link problems.. why would you want it over fibre?
3) What's the model of the 10G you're planning to acquire? You maybe able to do Cisco vPC and avoid Spanning trees etc...
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:eeRoot
eeRoot earned 664 total points
ID: 36919138
If you knoe that all the servers are able to fail back and forth between sw1 and sw2, then you could to it in these steps

Install 10Gsw3 between fw1 and sw1.  Wait for the connections to come back up
Install 10Gsw4 between fw2 and sw2.  Wait for the connections to come back up
Move the connections from sw1 to 10Gsw3
Move the connections from sw2 to 10Gsw4

Before and after each step, check the spanning tree and port channel settings to ensure that traffic is flowing correctly.
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Author Comment

by:wrinklefree
ID: 36919501
I should probably explain the whole story our our setup:

We currently have all of our web servers, DB servers and application servers running through these 2 active/active switches.  We've noticed the DB servers are seeing spikes of traffic saturating the 1GB link. We're also running out of power and rack space anyway, so the plan is to relocate the web servers to an adjacent cage, hence the new switches.  I think it makes sense to put the 10GE switches in the old rack, and move the 2960's to the new cage with the web servers. I'm still unsure of the cross connects to use between switches.  In this setup, is there any benefit to using fiber GBICS?
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Expert Comment

by:eeRoot
ID: 36925753
For 10Gb connections, you can use fiber of copper.  Copper is usually cheaper, also fiber is delicate and can get damaged easily.  Fiber's benefit is range, but that's not a benefit to you if everything is in the same server room
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Expert Comment

by:pgstephan
ID: 36927864
You don't need Fibre GBICs, TWINAX cables can go up to 10 meters now... even for a connectivity to an adjacent rack, you only need 5-6 meters max.
There is no value add for fibre here really.

Before thinking about the migration strategy, it's better you define the network topology and decide which components will sit where.
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Author Comment

by:wrinklefree
ID: 36945487
Awesome input guys,

SW1 and SW2 are currently connected via 2 Etherchannel links.  I suppose in this criss/cross config 1 cable to each switch is sufficient?
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Expert Comment

by:eeRoot
ID: 37476916
I recommend a points split between donjohnston, pgstephan, & eeRoot.  All gave useful answers.
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Expert Comment

by:Ernie Beek
ID: 37688402
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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