So I am trying to determine the optimal way to deploy some PowerConnect 2724 switches in an ESX environment. I know the switches are web-managable only, and have no real CLI and do not have stacking capability. All well and good.
What I want is to intoduce switch resiliency where if one switch fails, I'm still okay. Each ESX host would have at least 2, preferably 4 cables in total, half to each switch. (2 for SC/VM, and 2 for a VS, lets say). Let's assume there are 2 ESX hosts, to keep things simple. These will then uplink to a pair of PC6224's in a stack.
It would seem that I would want:
* A LAG to link the two switches together as a "stack" or "backplane", providing 1-4GB/s speed between the switches. (Ports 21-24 lets say)
* The uplink(s) from each PC2724 (Port 1 lets say) would connect to a port on each PC6224 (Port 9)
* ESX Host 1 would connect 2 NIC's to each switch (Ports 5/6) for 4 ports total
* ESX Host 2 would connect 2 NIC's to each switch (Ports 7/8) for 4 ports total
* There are no VLAN's in this configuration, to keep things a little simpler. Someday, this would be nice though.
So based on the above:
* IF PC2724_B Port 1 Uplink goes down, the ESX ports on PC2724_B would go through the LAG to PC2724_A and then either to the other ESX ports or through the PC2724_A Port 1 Uplink to the PC6224 and beyond.
* IF PC2724_B switch fails, the ESX ports on PC2724_A still work, albeit with only half the NIC ports, as PC2724_B switch is now gone. The LAG's are irrelevant at this point. All traffic can still uplink through the PC2724_A Port 1 to the PC6224 and beyond
Do I need to:
* Enable Backpressure on any ports?
* Enable Flow Control on any ports?
* Enable Broadcast Storm Control on any ports?
* I can't find it in the config, but would I not need/want to set STP/RSTP on some of the uplink/LAG ports?
Ideally, you would not use that switch for ESX. However if that is what you have then yes you could set it up where one link is down via spanning tree until a failure occurs. You can find that information in the deployment guides.
ESX 4 Deployment Guide
ESX 5 Deployment Guide
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Thanks Dennis, much appreciated. This is, unfortunately, what I have enough of for the moment. I'm hoping as we move to 10GbE iSCSI on the back end for all clustered sites, that I can pull and reuse the 2xPC5424's that were used for the 1GbE iSCSI traffic. Also most of our switching is near end of warranty so it is time for a PowerConnect refresh. What I'm looking to do, based on what I have is:
2xPC6224 (CORE) - to Firewalls/downstream racks
2xPC2724 or 2xPC5424 (Top of Rack1) - to CORE
2xPC2724 or 2xPC5424 (Top of Rack2) - to CORE
3xAvaya PC4548GT-PWR PoE stack for clients - to CORE
But the specific network port/layout is where I'm hung up.