Cisco 6500 VSS Configuration

It’s an old draft from 2010. Recently I was designing a network which VSS was on the topics, so it reminded me of the draft.

The Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Virtual Switching System (VSS) allows the clustering of two chassis together into a single, logical entity. This technology allows for enhancements in all areas of network design, including high availability, scalability, management, and maintenance.

The Virtual Switching System is created by converting two standalone Catalyst 6500 systems to a Virtual Switching System. The conversion is a one-time process that requires a few simple configuration steps and a system reload. Once the individual chassis reload, they are converted into the Virtual Switching System.

All control plane functions are centrally managed by the active supervisor engine of the active virtual switch chassis, including:

  • Management(Simple Network Management Protocol [SNMP], Telnet, Secure Shell [SSH] Protocol, etc.)
  • Layer 2 Protocols (bridge protocol data units [BPDUs], protocol data units [PDUs], Link Aggregation Control
    Protocol [LACP], etc.)
  • Layer 3Protocols (routing protocols, etc.)
  • Software data path

The requirements to convert the 6500 into a Virtual Switching System are:

  • The VSS requires Supervisor Engine 720 with 10-GigabitEthernet ports. You must use either two VS-S720-10G-3C or two VS-S720-10G-3CXL supervisor engine modules.
  • The VSS requires 67xx seriesswitching modules.
  • The VSLEtherChannel supports only 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports.

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Cisco DCI Design & Implementation

Being involved in different Data Center design projects requires you knowing how to interconnect Data Centers. Below you’ll find my notes from Cisco Data Center Design & Implementation Guide, System Release 1.0.

DCI Business Driversclip_image0014_thumbHA Clusters/Geoclusters
  • Microsoft MSCS
  • Veritas Cluster Server (Local)
  • Solaris Sun Cluster Enterprise
  • VMware Cluster (Local)
  • VMware VMotion
  • Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC)
  • IBM HACMP
  • EMS/Legato Automated Availability Manager
  • NetApp Metro Cluster
  • HP Metrocluster
Active/Standby Migration, Move/Consolidate Servers
  • VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM)
  • Microsoft Server 2008 Layer 3 Clustering
  • VMware Vmotion

The applications above drive the business and operation requirement for extending the Layer 2 domain across geographically dispersed data centers. Extending Layer 2 domains across data centers present challenges including, but not limited to:

  • Spanning tree isolation across data centers
  • Achieving high availability
  • Full utilization of cross sectional bandwidth across the Layer 2 domain
  • Network loop avoidance, given redundant links and devices without spanning tree

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