Posts Tagged ‘FTOS’

Automating VLAN Configuration on Dell FTOS Switches via GVRP

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

GARP VLAN Registration Protocol (GVRP) is a standards-based protocol defined in the IEEE 802.1Q specification that provides for automatic VLAN configuration on switches. The Generic Attribute Registration Protocol (GARP) is used by switches supporting GVRP to register/de-register attribute values such as VLAN IDs between switches within the network. GVRP is the standards-based equivalent to Cisco’s Virtual Trunk Protocol (VTP). To read more about Cisco VTP, read my prior blog at networkpros.org. For this blog, I utilize 2 x Dell S60s [FTOS 8.3.3.8 ]and 1x Dell S50N [FTOS 8.4.2.7]. Below is the network diagram for this lab. (more…)

Twitt

Dell MXL and FC Flex IOM: Enabling Network Convergence via FCoE [Video]

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

As you know from my prior blog, blog, the Dell FC Flex IOM adds 4 x FC ports (8 x FC ports with 2 modules) to the Dell MXL/IOA blade switch and transforms it into a NPIV Proxy Gateway (NPG) allowing for the bridging of FCoE and Fibre Channel at the switch blade level. Check-out the video here on YouTube (also embedded below) or on the Dell MXL wiki page (second video on page) that steps through the details and ease of deployment of this solution. (more…)

Twitt

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…)

Twitt

Dell Networking Extends Multipathing Capabilities with VLT Routing

Saturday, October 12th, 2013

Dell Networking recently released enhancements to their VLT multipathing technology in FTOS 9.2 now available on S4810, S4820T, and Z9000. For a quick primer on Dell’s VLT technology read my prior blog post here. The most noticeable enhancement is the support of layer 3 routing protocols over VLT. Additional enhancements include the ability of VLT peers to synchronize ARP entries learned from non-VLT interfaces, support for IPv6, and the ability to synchronize multicast routing tables between peer VLT ports. In this blog, I use 4 x Dell S4810s [FTOS 9.2] and 1 x Dell S60 (for a management switch) [FTOS 8.3.3.9] to demonstrate routed VLT.
(more…)

Twitt

Configuring a Syslog Server on CentOS 6.3 for Dell Force10 Switches

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

In this lab I’m going to demonstrate how to configure a syslog server to use with Dell Force10 switches. A syslog server can be used to store log files remotely on an external server. Syslog servers can be invaluable when troubleshooting. If a switch ever fails or reboots, no worries your logs are still available via the syslog server, and you can now analyse them to troubleshoot. An engineer can have multiple network devices write to one syslog file, or, if desired, a seperate syslog file can be created and stored remotely for each network device. (more…)

Twitt

Stacking the Dell MXL Blade Switch

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Dell MXL blade switch

Dell MXL blade switch

The Data Center Bridging (DCB) enabled Dell MXL blade switch provides a 1/10/40GbE upstream solution for the Dell PowerEdge M1000e chassis. It comes with two fixed 40 GbE ports but is scalable up to six 40GbE ports via 40GbE FlexIO modules; this provides a total of twenty four 10GbE ports from a single blade switch using breakout cables. Other FlexIO modules available for the two FlexIO ports are a 4 port 10GbaseT module and a 4 port 10GbE SFP+ module. One Dell MXL switch can provide up to 32 line-rate 10GbE internal-facing ports for Dell blade servers. Additionally, using the 40GbE ports, 6 MXL blade switches can be stacked together. In this blog I will demonstrate how to stack 2 Dell MXL blades together. (more…)

Twitt

Dell Bare Metal Provisioning 3.0 – Automate the Network

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Dell FTOSToday Dell released FTOS 9.1 for its Z9000 and S4810 data center switches. A lot of cool features have been added to the ubiquitous switch operating system, perhaps most notably the support for OpenFlow. However, in this blog I will be discussing one feature, Bare Metal Provisioning (BMP), that I worked extensively with and heavily promote, as I truly believe it’s a powerful utility to further help network engineers automate their networks for greater resiliency. (more…)

Twitt

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…)

Twitt

Blocking Hackers From Accessing Your Switch via Telnet/SSH

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

It’s amazing how much rattling at the doors and attempted intrusions companies become accustomed to seeing on their networks. Here I show a simple way to block telnet/SSH access to your switch. First, you should never use telnet to manage your switch over the Internet because the traffic is sent unencrypted and it is therefore insecure; SSH is the better option. Perhaps you only want to manage the switch from an internal network or only want to allow or block some hosts from using telnet/ssh. Below, I block all telnet/ssh access to the switch. I’m using a Dell Force10 S50N switch [FTOS 8.4.2.6]. (more…)

Twitt