Posts Tagged ‘Cisco’

Redistribution of EIGRP and OSPF in a Hybrid Cisco/Dell Network

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

Check out my latest blog on where I demonstrate redistributing EIGRP routes into OSPF and redistributing OSPF routes into EIGRP in a mixed Cisco IOS and Dell FTOS environment. Of course only the Cisco switches are running EIGRP and all Dell switches are running OSPF. A Cisco Catalyst 6509 switch chassis is running both EIGRP and OSPF, and this is where the redistribution occurs. For this lab I use 1 x Cisco Catalyst 6509 [IOS 12.2(18)SXD7b], 1 x Cisco 7204VXR router [IOS 12.2(11)T9], 2 X Dell S60s [FTOS], and 2 x Dell S50Ns [FTOS].


Dell MXL/IOA with FC Flex IOM: Network and Infrastructure Convergence with NPIV Proxy Gateway

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Dell FC Flex IO Module for Dell MXL/IOA Blade Switch

Dell FC Flex IO Module for Dell MXL/IOA Blade Switch

Very exciting news from Dell today as they announced the availability of the Dell FC Flex IOM module which transforms the Dell M1000e MXL/IOA blade switch into a NPIV Proxy Gateway (NPG). This allows the MXL/IOA to bridge between Ethernet and Fibre Channel allowing for network convergence with FCoE. (more…)


Cisco vPC with Dell S4810 at ToR

Saturday, September 21st, 2013

Cisco’s vPC technology is similar to Dell’s VLT; it enables an access/leaf switch or server to have single LAG connecting up to two separate switches. This allows for an non-blocking, multipathing scenario. You can read more about Dell’s VLT technology and its advantages on my prior blog, Dell Force10 – Layer 2 Multipathing via Virtual Link Trunking (VLT) In this blog, I will configure Cisco vPC between two Cisco Nexus 5548UP switches [NX-OS 5.1(3)N2(1)] down to a third ToR Cisco Nexus 5548UP switch [NX-OS 5.1(3)N2(1)]. I will then replace the third Cisco Nexus 5548UP switch at ToR with a Dell S4810 switch [FTOS 9.0]. (more…)


IT Certifications, Innovation, and Career Growth – Making the Right Decisions

Saturday, September 7th, 2013

IT Certifications
I often get asked, “What certification should I get next?” There is no right way to answer this question without a deeper analysis of why a certification is being sought in the first place. I’ll focus specifically on IT certifications and direct this article more towards technologists/engineers/tech entrepreneurs. In my opinion, there are too many IT certification hoarders jumping from one certification to the next; I have some friends who definitely fall in this category. I also have my share of certifications as well (Cisco, VMware, etc.), although by no means is IT certifications my first priority or even my second priority. These days it seems like just about every vendor and third party is coming out with some sort of certification and cashing-in on this ‘IT certification’ phenomena. So, do IT certifications really help and should you invest the time and money to get one? (more…)


Understanding Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Fabric Extenders

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Cisco Nexus 2248PQ Fabric Extender

Cisco Nexus 2248PQ Fabric Extender

Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Fabric Extenders (FEX) behave and can be considered as remote line cards for Cisco Nexus switches. The fabric extender acts as an extension to the parent Cisco Nexus switch fabric; the fabric extender and the parent Cisco Nexus switch together form a distributed modular system. With this architecture, the fabric extender typically is at top-of-rack (ToR) with the parent Cisco Nexus switch at end-of-row (EoR). (more…)


Cisco Nexus 5548UP – Configuring the Management Interface

Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013

This is a relatively simple blog on configuring the Cisco Nexus 5548UP management interface. When Cisco moved away from IOS to NX-OS for the operating system on their new Nexus datacenter switches, some of the commands and syntax for even the simplest tasks have changed. For easy reference for a common task such as setting the management interface I decided to write this quick blog. The network diagram is below. I am using a Dell S4810 [FTOS 9.1] for my management switch to which both the Dell PowerEdge R710 server and Cisco Nexus 5548UP [NX-OS 5.2(1)N1(1b)] connect. I also use a 1000Base-T SFP transceiver to convert the Dell S4810 fiber port to copper, so I can connect it to the management port of the Cisco Nexus. (more…)


Buying a Converged/FCoE Switch?

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

I felt the urge to write this article after receiving several inquiries about buying used Cisco Nexus 5010 and Nexus 5020 switches because they are available on some third-party site at large discounts – at least compared to the new Cisco Nexus switches. First, let me mention that both of these switches are EOL. Second, as I always say, whether the switch will work for you or not will depend on your network requirements. Let me mention a few things here to take into consideration when looking at some of these old EOL switches when the thought of saving some $$$$ overwhelm you. (more…)


Connecting Dell PowerEdge M I/O Aggregator with Dell Force10 S4810 and Cisco Nexus 5548UP

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Dell PowerEdge M I/O AggregatorThe Dell PowerEdge M I//O Aggregator is a slick blade switch that plugs into the Dell PowerEdge M1000e chassis and requires barely any configuration/networking knowledge. Think of it as an advanced layer 2 switch that provides expandable uplink connectivity. The base blade comes with 2 x 40 GbE ports that by default are configured as 8 x 10 GbE ports. If desired, these ports can also be used as 40 GbE stacking ports. The Dell PowerEdge M I/O Aggregator also provide 32 internal 10 GbE connections for Dell blade servers you can install in the Dell PowerEdge M1000e chassis. If quarter-height blade servers are used, the M1000e can support up to 32 servers. This is pretty cool, not only in terms of functionality, but also in terms of the consolidation and the mess of Ethernet/power cables avoided by not using standalone components. (more…)


Dell Force10 – Layer 2 Multipathing via Virtual Link Trunking (VLT)

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

In this blog I use one Dell Force10 S50N [FTOS] and three Dell Force10 S4810 switches [FTOS] to demonstrate Dell Force10′s layer 2 mulipathing technology called Virtual Link Trunking (VLT). With VLT, you can create a LAG for a server, switch, or any device that supports LACP to two different upstream switches.

Traditionally, a LAG from an access switch or server could only connect to a single upstream switch. For redundanacy purposes, many users would implement stacking on the upstream switches and then use a port-channel/LAG up to the stacked switch now seen as one logical entity. However, stacking is not the preferred solution here. Two main reasons for this is that stacking provides a single control plane mechanism that is managed by the master switch; there is no hitless failover. Compare this to VLT which provides a dual control plane mechanism and is hitless in nature. Additionally, when upgrading the switch firmware, the entire stack would need to be brought down. With VLT, one switch can be upgraded at a time without bringing down the other switch.

Stacking is more seen at the ToR or access layer. The ToR switches are usually stacked and VLT is then used upstream to the aggregate and core switches. However, if the ToR switch supports VLT such as the S4810 does, VLT can also be used from the switch down to the server. 1 GbE switches like the Dell S50N and Dell S60 do not support VLT, so, in these cases, stacking can still be employed.

In the least recommended approach, if no VLT or stacking is used at the aggregate layer connecting to the ToR on a layer 2 network, spanning tree protocol (STP) would need to be employed to block redundant links. This would create link and switch level redundancy. The issue with this is that you lose half the ports/bandwidth on the switch. By leveraging VLT, you can have an active-active multi-path connection from an access server/switch to two upstream switches seen as one logical entity employing a dual control plane mechanism. No putting-up with STP or blocked ports! (more…)


Multi-Area OSPF in a Mixed Cisco and Dell Force10 Environment

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

In this lab I use one Cisco 2621XM [IOS 12.4(2)T], one Cisco 2621 [IOS 12.3(18)], one Cisco 3660 [IOS 12.1(1)T], one Cisco 3640 [IOS 12.1(2)T], one Cisco 3550-24PWR-SMI [IOS 12.2(44)SE6], one Dell Force10 S60 [FTOS], and one Dell Force10 S50N [FTOS] to demonstrate multi-area OSPF in a mixed environment of Cisco and Dell Force10 switches. Below is a diagram of my lab setup. (more…)