Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Brocade Switch: Difference In Stacking With The ICX 6610 And The FCX Series

Last night, I wanted to add an extra Brocade ICX 6610 to a production ICX 6610.  I planned on stacking the two togther, because I see some good benefits of doing this over VRRP and MCT.  So I did this stack configuration during production hours and didnt see any downtime at all.  However, I did notice one thing that was different than doing this stack config on the FCX series.  I enabled stacking on the production switch and on the switch I planned on putting in.  But, on the production switch, I did not run the command 'stack secure-setup'.  What I noticed was that when I put the cables in place, with the 'stack enable' command run on both switches, it did the stack on its own.  I actually moved cables around and you could see it build the topology as I put the stacking cables in the back of the switches.  Im impressed.
I also ran the 'hitless-failover enable' and 'stack mac-address' commands.  You can see below what the stack looks like. 

4 comments:

  1. That is good to know. One difference I've noticed with the ICX6610 is that you can stack with 4x40GE cables per ICX6610. In your image I only see two per ICX6610. Any reason?

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    Replies
    1. :) Dont recall, but see here:
      http://www.shanekillen.com/2014/07/brocade-icx6610-switch-stacking-cables.html

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  2. Hi Shane,

    Could you tell me why did you prefer stacking to MCT + VRRP ?

    Thanks

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    Replies
    1. Personally, I do like stacking better than a protocol. Why? Because there is less to worry about in stacking than in VRRP. I do think there is a time to use protocols though, so dont get me wrong. I just think that anytime it makes sense, you stack over using a protocol. Here is an example: Say VRRP acts up. Then you have a network problem to worry about and fix. Its rare, if ever, that I have a stacking problem. Plus, I think you can connect things up in a way where you can get better redundancy. Less network overhead, better redundancy, etc. Just my thoughts on it.

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