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connecting multiple Cisco Switches together

Posted on 2014-07-23
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Last Modified: 2014-07-28
I have a 3550 Catalyst switch with no fiber module, 3 2960, 1 3750 and am getting 2 more WS-C2960S-48TS-L.  Right now I have them connected with just a cross over cable.  It seems like there is a better more efficient way with better thru put to connect all of these together.   Any suggestions?
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Question by:mogurek
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by:amac81
amac81 earned 1000 total points
ID: 40215190
All of these switches are auto MDI-X.  You do not need crossover cables.  

If you set one as the central switch you can have them hub and spoke and increase your performance as opposed to daisy chaining them.

If you need more bandwidth, you can use the last two ports on each, create a portchannel and trunk (if necessary) 2GB to the next switch.  Trunking is only necessary if you're using vlan tagging.
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by:Matt
ID: 40216082
Because of the speed and functionality set 3750 as the master switch. Create etherchannel groups (two ports per group) on this switch and connect all othet switches to this "master" switch. On other switches you also need to configure one etherchannel group - to uplink connection to 3750 switch.

This Will create simple but redundant links. Do NOT connect other switches with each other, uplinks strictly using etherchannel to the master switch 3750.
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Author Comment

by:mogurek
ID: 40216579
Thanks, how do you create a port channel and what type of cable do you need to do so?  If I went the etherchannel group way how do you do that and what type of cables do I use?
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Matt earned 1000 total points
ID: 40216611
This is example from production environment:


Switch C2960 (48 port, 2 Gigabit uplink ports) - ports Gi0/1 and Gi0/2 are members of EC, they are linked as one logical link, uplink to C3750 as master switch (sw-2n-1, ports Gi0/1/11 and Gi0/1/12)


interface Port-channel1
 description Link->sw-2n-1 EC
 switchport mode trunk
!
interface GigabitEthernet0/1
 description Link->sw-2n-1 EC (Gi1/0/11)
 switchport mode trunk
 channel-protocol lacp
 channel-group 1 mode active
!
interface GigabitEthernet0/2
 description Link->sw-2n-1 EC (Gi1/0/12)
 switchport mode trunk
 channel-protocol lacp
 channel-group 1 mode active
!

Switch C3750 (all gigabit ports):

interface Port-channel6
 description Link->sw-3n-1 EC
 switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q
 switchport mode trunk
!
interface GigabitEthernet1/0/11
 description Link->sw-3n-1 EC (Gi0/1)
 switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q
 switchport mode trunk
 channel-protocol lacp
 channel-group 6 mode active
!
interface GigabitEthernet1/0/12
 description Link->sw-3n-1 EC (Gi0/2)
 switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q
 switchport mode trunk
 channel-protocol lacp
 channel-group 6 mode active
!

You don't need any special cable, straight UTP CAT 5e Will be acceptable.
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Expert Comment

by:amac81
ID: 40216618
Etherchannel and portchannels are the same thing just from a differing perspective.  Etherchannel is the physical connectivity and portchannel is the logical.

Using two straight Cat5e cables will suffice.
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