Posts Tagged ‘Force10 S4810’

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…)

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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…)

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Deploying a Dell PowerEdge M1000e Chassis with Dell Blade Servers and Dell MXL Blade Switches

Monday, June 10th, 2013

In this blog I demonstrate how to setup a Dell M1000e chassis with a Dell PowerEdge M620 server and two Dell MXL blade switches [FTOS 8.3.16.2]. The Dell M1000e chassis is part of a larger network composed of three Dell S4810 switches [FTOS 9.1]. Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise is installed on the server. Below is the network diagram for this lab. (more…)

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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…)

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Distributed Core Network Architecture

Friday, January 18th, 2013

There is no doubt you have probably heard by now the importance of supporting ‘east-west’ traffic flow in large data center networks. So why is this and what does it mean? And when Gartner claims that 80 percent of data center network traffic now travels from server-to-server, just what impact does this have on network design/architecture? (more…)

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

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

In this blog I use one Dell Force10 S50N [FTOS 8.4.2.7] and three Dell Force10 S4810 switches [FTOS 8.3.12.1] 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…)

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How to Fix – Force10 S4810 Switch Stuck in Boot Loop

Friday, May 27th, 2011

In this blog I discuss how to fix a common boot loop problem. A boot loop can occur if you change the boot variables for a switch and accidentally put in incorrect information. You may also make a typo when telling the switch which FTOS image to load. Then when the switch reloads, it will attempt to load the non-existent FTOS image. On the S4810 [FTOS 8.3.7.0], if the “primary_image” fails to load, it will try the “secondary_image” and lastly the “default_image”. If all three boot variables fail to load an image, the switch goes into a boot loop where it keeps retrying to load the images from “primary_image” to “default_image”. (more…)

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