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I know that Cisco gear can do this, but can a Procurve be made to do it as well?

I have a scenario of around 16 access switches, one switch per building, connected to two aggregation/core switches all via a redundant set of 10 Gbps uplinks. Each switch has one link to one of the two cores. I was thinking of creating multiple VLANs per access switch (one per floor), then using InterVLAN routing on the switch for inter-floor communications, then aggregating traffic on the upper half of the floors on the 10GigE link going to Core1, and the lower half going on the 10GigE link to Core2, with said VLANs failing over to the other link in case a core goes down.

The core switches handle InterVLAN communications between buildings, and the two HyperV nodes connect directly via two 10GigE links to the core, one link to one core switch. Ideally I'd do load balancing as well.

I'm used to cisco gear, so I'm not really sure if this is feasible or even recommended. Any tips?

EDIT: To clarify - everything is procurve, both access and aggregation switches. From what I understand, if STP is enabled and you have two links to a root switch, one is set to forwarding and one is set to backup per VLAN, which can result in all VLAN traffic "congealing" to a single 10GigE link. I would like to configure differing root switches per VLAN so that the traffic across the network is semi-distributed across the two links, basically balancing by source subnet.

Additionally, each switch has a link to the Hyper-V cluster nodes (2 nodes). I believe LACP on 10GigE NICs for Windows Server 2008 R2 is still a bit problematic, so I plan on manually tuning things, unless of course LACP for Intel 10GigE cards on Procurve 5406'es are okay now?

  • You want to use HP as access switch or as one of the two core switches? – laf Jul 30 '13 at 9:05
  • Could you pleaset explain in more detail which way you want to balance traffic among both links between building and core switches? It wouldn´t work the same way if you want to balance traffic according to the source or destination subnet. – Daniel Yuste Aroca Jul 30 '13 at 19:34
  • I would like to configure differing root switches per VLAN so that the traffic across the network is semi-distributed across the two links... you need to configure 802.1s (Multiple Spanning Tree) on your core switches... MST will give you the traffic engineering knobs that you are looking for – Mike Pennington Jul 31 '13 at 1:14
  • That works. What else can I do to spread the network load across the switches? – NotANetworkEngineer Jul 31 '13 at 3:27
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You can do virtually anything Cisco does on ProCurves. It's just a tiny little bit of a different logic when implementing the configuration. You can setup VRRP (and of course different STP root bridges) on distribution layer switches, which will perform inter-vlan routing, to load balance the traffic from different VLANs between the switches.

For example, you can set one switch as a VRRP master for 1,3,5 floor VLANs and the second one for 2,4 floor VLANs or similar.

  • Which would you recommend, though? Do inter-floor InterVLAN on access switches (Procurve 5406, 10-25 clients per floor, 2 to 11 floors per building), then inter-building InterVLAN on core/aggregation switches (Procurve 5412, 16 buildings), or do all inter-vlan routing on aggregation switches? – NotANetworkEngineer Jul 31 '13 at 0:59
  • I guess, it's totally YOUR call. You must take into consideration that most routing protocols converge way faster even than Rapid-STP so L3 between Access and Distribution could be good too. And yeah, like Mike Pennington said, if you decide to go L2, you can use MST as a spanning-tree protocol of choice. – Alex Jul 31 '13 at 7:20
  • And you can do load balancing using routing protocols too, but don't get too fancy with that as you can create more problems than benefit if not polished to shine. – Alex Jul 31 '13 at 7:24
  • Hmm. That may work, my only problem now then would be ensuring that broadcasts (DHCP, other IP broadcasts needed for the network to function well) would be redirected properly to the server VLANs. – NotANetworkEngineer Aug 1 '13 at 2:16
  • Check >>>this<<< out for DHCP relay config. – Alex Aug 1 '13 at 7:30

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