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Issues creating EtherChannel trunk between 2 Cisco 2960 switches

Posted on 2013-01-24
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Last Modified: 2013-01-24
SAN vendor suggested redundant 24 p switches trunked (EtherChannel?)
together for best iSCSI design with redundant SAN controllers. The storage switches will
be separate from the rest of the network so somewhat of a stub network design.

I started configuration of 2 switches but think I have something wrong with the config. I
am having issues connecting the Vmware host to the storage even though all looks correct.
I attempted to trunk ports 23 and 24 together on the switches and left everything else a
single VLAN with basic config for iSCSI.

I also have a secondary need to add jumbo frames and any other iSCSI config tweaks that
you think would be helpful. Some excerpts are below and configs attached.

ISCSISW1#sh int trunk

Port        Mode             Encapsulation  Status        Native vlan
Gi0/23      on               802.1q         trunking      1
Gi0/24      on               802.1q         trunking      1

Port        Vlans allowed on trunk
Gi0/23      1-4094
Gi0/24      1-4094

Port        Vlans allowed and active in management domain
Gi0/23      1
Gi0/24      1

Port        Vlans in spanning tree forwarding state and not pruned
Gi0/23      1
Gi0/24      none


GigabitEthernet0/23 is up, line protocol is up (connected)
  Hardware is Gigabit Ethernet, address is 3cce.733d.fd97 (bia 3cce.733d.fd97)
  MTU 1500 bytes, BW 1000000 Kbit, DLY 10 usec,
     reliability 255/255, txload 1/255, rxload 1/255
  Encapsulation ARPA, loopback not set
  Keepalive set (10 sec)
  Full-duplex, 1000Mb/s, media type is 10/100/1000BaseTX
  input flow-control is off, output flow-control is unsupported
  ARP type: ARPA, ARP Timeout 04:00:00
  Last input 00:00:01, output 00:00:06, output hang never
  Last clearing of "show interface" counters never
  Input queue: 0/75/0/0 (size/max/drops/flushes); Total output drops: 0
  Queueing strategy: fifo
  Output queue: 0/40 (size/max)
  5 minute input rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
  5 minute output rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
     772244 packets input, 55134315 bytes, 0 no buffer
     Received 704899 broadcasts (703334 multicasts)
     0 runts, 0 giants, 0 throttles
     0 input errors, 0 CRC, 0 frame, 0 overrun, 0 ignored
     0 watchdog, 703334 multicast, 0 pause input
     0 input packets with dribble condition detected
     101633 packets output, 10792072 bytes, 0 underruns
     0 output errors, 0 collisions, 1 interface resets
     0 babbles, 0 late collision, 0 deferred
     0 lost carrier, 0 no carrier, 0 PAUSE output
     0 output buffer failures, 0 output buffers swapped out
GigabitEthernet0/24 is up, line protocol is up (connected)
  Hardware is Gigabit Ethernet, address is 3cce.733d.fd98 (bia 3cce.733d.fd98)
  MTU 1500 bytes, BW 1000000 Kbit, DLY 10 usec,
     reliability 255/255, txload 1/255, rxload 1/255
  Encapsulation ARPA, loopback not set
  Keepalive set (10 sec)
  Full-duplex, 1000Mb/s, media type is 10/100/1000BaseTX
  input flow-control is off, output flow-control is unsupported
  ARP type: ARPA, ARP Timeout 04:00:00
  Last input 00:00:01, output 00:00:06, output hang never
  Last clearing of "show interface" counters never
  Input queue: 0/75/0/0 (size/max/drops/flushes); Total output drops: 0
  Queueing strategy: fifo
  Output queue: 0/40 (size/max)
  5 minute input rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
  5 minute output rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
     772752 packets input, 55155883 bytes, 0 no buffer
     Received 705516 broadcasts (703332 multicasts)
     0 runts, 0 giants, 0 throttles
     0 input errors, 0 CRC, 0 frame, 0 overrun, 0 ignored
     0 watchdog, 703332 multicast, 0 pause input
     0 input packets with dribble condition detected
     100622 packets output, 10717986 bytes, 0 underruns
     0 output errors, 0 collisions, 1 interface resets
     0 babbles, 0 late collision, 0 deferred
     0 lost carrier, 0 no carrier, 0 PAUSE output
     0 output buffer failures, 0 output buffers swapped out
swcfg1.txt
swcfg2.txt
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Question by:smeek
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Expert Comment

by:rauenpc
ID: 38815243
To make the etherchannel, run the following commands on both switches


interface range GigabitEthernet0/23 - 24
channel-group 1 mode on


To enable jumbo frames, run the following on both switches:

system mtu jumbo ?
[you will see the range of sizes available]
system mtu jumbo 9198 [or largest number available from the previous list]


You will need to reload the switches to take effect.

You've already set flowcontrol, so aside from any management security features or cosmetic descriptions, you should be good to go. iSCSI configurations are usually very simple as you want performance and not fancy features.
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Author Comment

by:smeek
ID: 38816132
My original issue turned out to be SAN related. Is there an issue with current trunk setting or should I change to EtherChannel? Not sure of my terminology, I mainly just need each switch to talk to each other, act redundantly should 1 switch fail.

Also, I was told I could change to jumbo frames on SAN, then switch, then Vmware hosts without issue (until restarting). Is that true? Was going to configure in that order and test performance after but wanted to verify that just cause I change on SAN, stuff won;t stop working, it just won't get benefit of jumbo frames.
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Accepted Solution

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rauenpc earned 500 total points
ID: 38816596
As you have it, only 1 connection between the switches will be active at a time. Configuring the ether-channel will allow you the potential to go beyond 1G when multiple sessions are going from switch to switch. Switch to switch traffic would happen mostly due to misconfiguration, round-robin or active/active Multi-Path, or SAN controller failure. Ether-channel isn't a requirement but could be helpful. You will experience a few seconds of outage during the config (outage limited to the switch-to-switch traffic).

As to jumbo frames, yes for sure on the switch, and no idea on the rest as it's not my area of expertise.
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Author Comment

by:smeek
ID: 38816769
Made change. Should I have removed the previous statement for those ports.

switchport mode trunk setting
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Expert Comment

by:rauenpc
ID: 38817204
No, I would leave those as trunks even if you only have one vlan. It doesn't reduce any performance, and it allows you to configure additional vlans across the switch if you ever need it in the future... Perhaps a dedicated vMotion vlan.
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Author Comment

by:smeek
ID: 38817406
Seems to be working OK.

Was reading something SAN manual and it suggested configure jumbo on switch and hosts first, then on SAN. On the Vmware side, I had to modify the vNICs and the vSwitch for iSCSI and it finally worked. The SAN had a testing tool for jumbo frames that I used to test and appears to be working.

Thanks for your help.
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