Connecting 2 Powerconnect 5524 switches

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Connecting 2 Powerconnect 5524 switches

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Hello,

I'm new to networking so this is why I'm asking some advise. We are a new company and we are preparing to move out an existing office to our own office with own infrastructure. We bought 2 Dell R720 with 2 4-port network cards with Xenserver on it. We also bought a Dell NX3200 for storage and backup. We also bought 2 Dell PowerConnect 5524 switches. 

On the switches I want 3 VLAN's. 1 VLAN for normal netwerk connected with the workstations and servers. 1 VLAN for storage/backup purpose and 1 VLAN for VoIP telephony. The 2 switches are connected with a fibre cable. 

The servers I want to connect redundant. So every port on de servers is bonded with the second network card and every cable goes in an other switch. The same with the storage network.

Now I have been reading a lot and all de technical things like LAG and STP and MSTP. Some terms however are somehow confusing. So if anyone want's to help me to put together the right configuration I will be forever thankful!

Thanks in advance.

Andy

All Replies
  • I would advise hiring a Network Engineer on a short contract to get your network up and running.  It can be rather difficult to set up a network without any previous knowledge or experience.  

    We can definitely help out with any direct questions you may have.  It would be very difficult to address each and every scenario that you would need to successfully configure your network.

    Here is a link to a home page with several White Paper articles:

    en.community.dell.com/.../2580.networking-whitepapers.aspx

    Creating VLANs

    console> enable

    console# config

    console(config)# vlan database

    console(config-vlan)# vlan 10

    console(config-vlan)# exit

    console(config)# interface vlan 10

    console(config-if)# ip address 192.168.10.x 255.255.255.0

    console(config-if)# name Marketing

    console(config-if)# end

    console# show vlan

    Creating Ports for PC to connect as VLAN unaware host.

    console> enable

    console# config

    console(config)# interface ethernet 1/e1

    console(config-if)# switchport mode access

    console(config-if)# switchport access vlan 10

    console(config-if)# end

    For the connection between the 2 switches Trunk/general switchport:

    console# configure

    console(config)# interface ethernet e11

    console(config-if)# switchport mode trunk

    console(config-if)# switchport trunk allowed vlan add 100

    console(config-if)# end

    This should get you started.

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  • Hi Willy,

    Thanks for you information.

    I'm an allround IT-manager with knowledge in all kinds of things. But not really speciliased in Networking. So that's why I posted my problem over here. I defenitly want to try and get this working myself. So in underneath my problem in detail!

    At the moment I'm already using 1 of the 2 switches. I already configured 2 VLAN. VLAN 1 for the workstations and servers. VLAN 10 for storage and backup connected to the same servers. Ports 1 till 22 for VLAN 1 and Ports 23 to 24 for VLAN 10. This works without a problem. The servers and storage are always connected in BOND-configuration on XENSERVER.

    Once I connect the second switch with Fibre there's no problem. I also configured the 2 VLAN's with the same setup. 1 till 22 VLAN 1 and 23 till 24 VLAN 10. I can access the management interface through browser. But once connecting the servers in VLAN1 and storage in VLAN10 there is a problem. I can't ping the management interface on switch 2 anymore. The network get's disturbed.

    That's in fact the problem. I've been reading a lot and the things that always return are LAG and STP and MSTP. Can you provide me with some solutions?

    Thanks

    Andy

  • Out of curiosity, how come you are using fiber to interconnect the switches as opposed to HDMI cables and stacking them?

  • Link Aggregation Groups or IEEE 802.1AX-2008 is a computer networking term which describes using multiple network cables/ports in parallel to increase the link speed beyond the limits of any one single cable or port, and to increase the redundancy for higher availability.

    The benefits of Link Aggregation include:

       Increased Availability — If a link within a LAG fails or is replaced, the traffic is not disrupted and communication is maintained (even though the available capacity is reduced).

       Load Sharing — Traffic is distributed across multiple links, minimizing the probability that a single link be overwhelmed.

       Use of Existing Hardware — Firmware replaces the need to upgrade the hardware to higher bandwidth capacity.

    Sounds like you have or should have a LAG on ports 23 & 24.

    Creating LAGs – Static Two-port LAG

    console> enable

    console# configure

    console(config)# interface range gi1/0/23-24

    console(config-if)# channel-group 1 mode on

    console(config-if)# exit

    console(config)#

    Creating LAGs – Dynamic LACP LAG

    console> enable

    console# configure

    console(config)# interface range gi1/0/23-24

    console(config-if)# channel-group 1 mode auto

    console(config-if)# exit

    console(config)#

    Spanning Tree (STP) is a protocol that manages any loops in a redundant network.  So if you have more than one path between 2 devices it will dynamically shutdown one of the paths and keep one open for optimal network performance.  When you have LAG connection STP considers that as a single connection and unless you have another LAG (or single port) path to the same device it will leave that LAG alone.

    Here is a good site discussing STP and trouble shooting options.

    en.community.dell.com/.../19465205.aspx

    I would not worry about MSTP at this point it is an advanced level of STP that is optional and is not needed in a small network with only a few network devices and VLANs.

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  • i dont think a LAG on port 23 and 24 on one switch would meet the redundancy requirement he set?  

    first i would suggest you stack the switches, thus putting both switches on one management interface.  this is going to significantly decrease complexity.  second you need to decide what LAG you want, redundancy, or load 'sharing'?  LACP LAG is 'load sharing' and is typically preferred because it also provides redundancy.  it is important to note that 'load sharing' does not double your bandwidth.  instead LACP plays 'round robin' with your LAG, splitting the some traffic down one interface, and other traffic down the other.  sometimes it is even, most of the time it is not, regardless, it works better than just using one port.  

    with both switches stacked you will want to create your LACP LAG groups across both switches and across both VLAN's.  for example (assuming you are only using two ports per LACP LAG):

    LACP LAG 1 on VLAN 1(server): switch 1, port 22 and switch 2, port 22

    LACP LAG 2 on VLAN 10 (server storage): switch 1, port 23 and switch 2, port 23

    LACP LAG 3 on VLAN 10 (storage): switch 1, port 24 and switch 2, port 24

    thoughts?

  • Ok that's clear ... but my switches are stacked via Fibre ... Then I just need to configure the LACP LAG identically on the 2 switches?

  • I'm not aware of how the 5524 can "Stack" with fibre.  Are you saying that the switches are connected with fibre and are managed by a single IP address.  Where one is the Master switch and the other is the slave.

    The User Guide discusses stacking on page 45.

    support.dell.com/.../en_ug.zip

    The only cables used for stacking a 5524 are HDMI cables.

    You do not have to "Stack" the switches especially if they are located in different locations physically.

    Once we get an understanding of how your switches are set up as far as stack then we can discuss the options for setting up a LAG.

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  • I am assuming both switches are physically next to each other and are not properly stacked, please confirm.  If you decide to stack with the HDMI cables, be sure to get the latest version of HDMI cables 1.4x.  I ran into the same weird problems others reported using 1.3 HDMI cables.

    Willy- I didnt know you could LAG two ports with each port being on a different independently managed switches?   I was under the impression if you wanted to LAG two ports on two different switches those two different switches would have to be stacked using a single management interface.  please confirm?

    Multiman- I believe your confusing is coming from having to manage two switches independently as opposed to stacking them and managing them together.  Lets see what Willy has to say.

    Thanks Willy!

  • No no, I didn't stack them. I've just connected them with a Fibre. They each have a management IP. I just finished configuration like strict told me. It works like a charm. For each port that's part of a bond on my xenserver (main networkcard/daughter card) i've put it in a LAG. For me those ports are 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23 and 24. So I have 7 LAG's. Created on both switches.

    It's stable! Great! Problems solved!

    Willy do you think this is a good configuration?

  • Thought that everything went fine .... The network is stable ... but when testing Backup over the Storage VLAN ... speeds are really really slow ... instead of 120MB/S, I now have 10MB/S ... how comes?

  • If you are connecting 2 switches you will only need 1 LAG that is a trunk/general mode switchport allowing all the VLANs across that one connection.  When you have 7 LAGs that is a lot of redundant links and depending on how STP is working it will cause loops to form and collision of traffic.  

    Can you reply with your config or an explanation of what LAGs are connecting to what?

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  • Ok i'm 1 step further. Now the 2 switches are connected. The storage network VLAN 10 is pingable on both switches. But the normal network VLAN 1 is not pingable on the 2th switch. So apparantly the TRUNK on de fibre ports doesn't let traffic trough to the other switch. Possible?

    Underneath configuration

    This is switch 1 :

    port jumbo-frame
    vlan database
    vlan 10
    exit
    voice vlan oui-table add 000181 Nortel__________________
    voice vlan oui-table add 0001e3 Siemens_AG_phone________
    voice vlan oui-table add 00036b Cisco_phone_____________
    voice vlan oui-table add 00096e Avaya___________________
    voice vlan oui-table add 000fe2 H3C_Aolynk______________
    voice vlan oui-table add 001049 Shoretel________________
    voice vlan oui-table add 0060b9 Philips_and_NEC_AG_phone
    voice vlan oui-table add 00907a Polycom/Veritel_phone___
    voice vlan oui-table add 00e0bb 3Com_phone______________
    iscsi target port 860 address 0.0.0.0
    iscsi target port 3260 address 0.0.0.0
    iscsi target port 9876 address 0.0.0.0
    iscsi target port 20002 address 0.0.0.0
    iscsi target port 20003 address 0.0.0.0
    iscsi target port 25555 address 0.0.0.0
    username admin password encrypted 108c441fa854cdccdce693c4058a92aae03fec74 pr
    ivilege 15
    snmp-server community Quadriga rw view DefaultSuper
    !
    interface vlan 1
     name Quadriga
     ip address 172.23.14.20 255.255.255.0
    !
    interface vlan 10
     name Storage
     ip address 10.0.0.20 255.255.255.0
    !
    interface gigabitethernet1/0/22
     switchport access vlan 10
    !
    interface gigabitethernet1/0/23
     switchport access vlan 10
    !
    interface gigabitethernet1/0/24
     switchport access vlan 10
    !
    interface tengigabitethernet1/0/1
     channel-group 1 mode auto
     switchport mode trunk
     switchport trunk allowed vlan remove 2-9,11-4094
    !
    interface Port-channel1
     switchport mode trunk
     switchport trunk allowed vlan remove 2-9,11-4094
    !
    ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 172.23.14.1

     

     


    Default settings:
    Service tag: (removed for security)

    SW version 4.0.1.11 (date  16-Oct-2011 time  18:10:50)

    Gigabit Ethernet Ports
    =============================
    no shutdown
    speed 1000
    duplex full
    negotiation
    flow-control on
    mdix auto
    no back-pressure

    interface vlan 1
    interface port-channel 1 - 32

    spanning-tree
    spanning-tree mode RSTP

    qos basic
    qos trust cos
    eee enable

    This is switch 2 :

    port jumbo-frame
    vlan database
    vlan 10
    exit
    voice vlan oui-table add 000181 Nortel__________________
    voice vlan oui-table add 0001e3 Siemens_AG_phone________
    voice vlan oui-table add 00036b Cisco_phone_____________
    voice vlan oui-table add 00096e Avaya___________________
    voice vlan oui-table add 000fe2 H3C_Aolynk______________
    voice vlan oui-table add 001049 Shoretel________________
    voice vlan oui-table add 0060b9 Philips_and_NEC_AG_phone
    voice vlan oui-table add 00907a Polycom/Veritel_phone___
    voice vlan oui-table add 00e0bb 3Com_phone______________
    iscsi target port 860 address 0.0.0.0
    iscsi target port 3260 address 0.0.0.0
    iscsi target port 9876 address 0.0.0.0
    iscsi target port 20002 address 0.0.0.0
    iscsi target port 20003 address 0.0.0.0
    iscsi target port 25555 address 0.0.0.0
    username admin password encrypted 108c441fa854cdccdce693c4058a92aae03fec74 pr
    ivilege 15
    snmp-server community Dell_Network_Manager rw view DefaultSuper
    !
    interface vlan 1
     name Quadriga
     ip address 172.23.14.21 255.255.255.0
    !
    interface vlan 10
     name Storage
     ip address 10.0.0.21 255.255.255.0
    !
    interface gigabitethernet1/0/22
     switchport access vlan 10
    !
    interface gigabitethernet1/0/23
     switchport access vlan 10
    !
    interface gigabitethernet1/0/24
     switchport access vlan 10
    !
    interface tengigabitethernet1/0/1
     channel-group 1 mode auto
     switchport mode trunk
     switchport trunk allowed vlan remove 2-9,11-4094
    !
    interface Port-channel1
     switchport mode trunk
     switchport trunk allowed vlan remove 2-9,11-4094
    !
    ip route 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 172.23.14.1

     

     


    Default settings:
    Service tag: (removed for security)

    SW version 4.0.1.11 (date  16-Oct-2011 time  18:10:50)

    Gigabit Ethernet Ports
    =============================
    no shutdown
    speed 1000
    duplex full
    negotiation
    flow-control on
    mdix auto
    no back-pressure

    interface vlan 1
    interface port-channel 1 - 32

    spanning-tree
    spanning-tree mode RSTP

    qos basic
    qos trust cos
    eee enable

  • Let's take a look at the status of VLAN 1 ip interface on both switches

    console# show ip interface

    The status should be valid

    Are you trying to ping VLAN 1 from the switches or from a PC?

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  • Hey Willy,

    Status is valid. Trying to do this from a computer.

    I'm also getting this constantly :

    01-Oct-2006 20:19:29 %LINK-I-Up:  te1/0/1

    01-Oct-2006 20:19:31 %LINK-W-Down:  te1/0/1

    01-Oct-2006 20:19:31 %LINK-I-Up:  te1/0/1

    01-Oct-2006 20:19:32 %LINK-W-Down:  te1/0/1

    Grtz.

  • Is the problem maybe VLAN1? What if I put everything currently in VLAN1 into another VLAN let's say VLAN5?