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Best storage/blade topology?



We've just got some Dell PowerEdge1000e blades in through the door, along with a few trays EqualLogic storage. At the back of the blades we've got M8024 10gig switches (4 switches, in two fabrics, two per fabric), and we've also got a couple of nexus nk5's to glue it all together.

We're not sure about the best toplogy to go for on this.

Initially we were going to fully mesh from the Dell switches to both nexus switches, but this is a nightmare for spanning-tree, as the Dell's only run basic STP or MST, and not anything that's compatible with PVST which we could run on the nexus's.

The EqualLogics are going straight into the Nexus's

We then thought about stacking the Dell's, but they're not stackable. We could just trunk between them, and then one pair of trunks from each switch fabric up to each Nexus to simplify spanning tree.

Sounds confusing? PDF attached with somewhat faint diagram

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

Many thanks

1 Reply 1



The Dell M8024s run IEEE 802.1w RSTP, too, and although it is not on a per-vlan basis, they are fully compatible with Cisco switches. The Cisco's will simply fallback to the IEEE flavor of RSTP.This is a very common configuration.

Moreover, the M8024s run a Dell proprietary switch mode known as Simple Switch mode or sometimes it's called Simple Connect. With this mode, you do not need to run spanning tree or even configure vlans. What you do is map internal/downlink ports on the switch (those that face the server NICs) to outgoing port groups that they call aggregators. There is a stateful relationship between the aggregator's uplink and downlink ports.

It's all in this URL. There's a demo and a white paper.,+M6348,+and+M8024+Series

As for topology, the best option for redundancy is the looped "V" topology for the blade switches as well as the EqualLogic arrays.



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