IBM BladeCenter switch configurations

We just acquired an IBM BladeCenter with two internal Cisco ethernet switches. Our infrastructure is all Cisco with dual 6509 core switches. The 6509's have 10/100/1000 RJ45 cards. What is the recommended configuration of the switches to be able to utilize at least four of the eight ports on the BladeCenter switches connected to the 6509's? Thanks.

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T. Steuver
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I am not sure what the "recommended" configuration is, as unfortunately noone that I've spoken to knows enough about the combination of BladeCenters and Cisco switches to know.

What model BladeCenter chassis do you have? The chassis I use takes up to 14 Blades, and has (I think) a pair of 6-port 10/100/1000 switches. Obviously, the 14 blades use virtualization to share the physical switches.

I would tend to think (and, indeed, I'll soon be trying) that a solution is just to make either a large (say, 4-6 channel) EtherChannel and be done with it. I don't know of a more efficient scenario :-\\ oh, make sure you check out your VLAN settings -- I think the Blade's switches default to VLAN 2, whereas my 4006 defaults to VLAN 1.

Can you let me know how you go with this? Either on the group or via email? As I'm always looking for more configuration info about these things...


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We have two IBM BladeCenters installed. IBM has an "white paper" with different scenarios, how to connect blades switches to core. We have one BladeCenter configured one way, and another rack configured another way.

Consider BladeCenter switches as a normal Cisco switches. You have 20 ports - 14 internal for servers, 2 internal to Mgmt modules, and 4 external. The only "trick part" is how to configure your management VLAN. On one BC we have configured external ports as a regular trunks, which carry all VLANs including management VLAN. On another BC's external ports we configured DATA-Only VLANs, and management traffic comes through management module. Other of that - it's normal switch. Our policy for switches was to have VTP transparent domain, trunks have only required VLANs, spanning tree is enabled as RPVST, etc.

Good luck,


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