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Port-Channel

Posted on 2013-12-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-23
Hi,

Is that correct that a L2 Port-Channel (Cisco 6509-E)  with dot1q ports is the same thing as trunked single port but simply has "more" ports?  So my main advantage would be the extra bandwidth or load balancing?  

Thanks,

R
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Question by:rotarypwr
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Gareth Gudger earned 167 total points
ID: 39734345
Trunk ports allow VLANs communication. Port Channel combine multiple physical ports to create one big port for load balancing, resiliency and increased bandwidth. For example, you could create a 4GB port channel group that combined 4 x 1GB ports to a mission critical server. A trunk port on the other hand would allow 1 or more VLANs to communicate over a switch port, depending on the permissions of the trunk.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/switches/datacenter/nexus1000/sw/4_2_1_s_v_1_4/troubleshooting/configuration/guide/n1000v_trouble_8channels.html
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by:Miftaul
Miftaul earned 167 total points
ID: 39734360
A trunk port allows multiple VLANs traffic to pass via a single link. dot1q carries VLAN tags.
Port Channel on the other hand bundles physical links to be virtually tied to create a high speed link.

In production, multiple links between switches are actually trucked and then portchanneled to create a high speed link. Port channel is goos because, if you have multiple redundant links between switches, the Spanning tree on the switch will keep one link up and rest of them stopped. That gives redundancy but not all links are utilized, Port Channel keeps the redundancy and also all the links are utilized.
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by:Craig Beck
Craig Beck earned 166 total points
ID: 39734890
A PortChannel doesn't specifically have to be trunked.  It can be an access link too.

In Cisco speak we say trunk when we're passing more than one VLAN across a link.
In other vendor speak we call a trunk a link consisting of two or more ports.

So, Cisco PortChannel = 'Other Vendor' Trunk
Cisco Trunk = 'Other Vendor' 802.1q Tagged Port
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Author Closing Comment

by:rotarypwr
ID: 39736862
All very helpful feedback with various bits of information.  Thanks All!
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