As far as I understand, there are several different mechanisms of high availability for Catalyst switches. The document
"Nonstop forwarding with statefull switchover on the Cisco Catalyst 6500" (http://www.cisco.com/application/pdf/en/us/guest/products/ps708/c1244/cdccont_0900aecd801c5cd7.pdf), describes RPR+ as follows:
"No link layer or control-plane information is synchronized between the active and the
standby supervisors. Interfaces may bounce after switchover, and the hardware contents need to be reprogrammed. The RPR+ switchover time is 30 or more seconds."
"SSO - SSO expands the RPR+ capabilities to provide transparent failover of Layer 2 protocols when a supervisor failure occurs. SSO is stateful for Layer 2 protocols? SSO is a requirement for SRM with SSO and NSF with SSO"
"It allows a router experiencing the failure of an active supervisor to continue forwarding data packets along known routes while the routing protocol information is recovered and validated. This forwarding can continue to occur even though peering arrangements with neighbor routers have been lost on the restarting router. NSF relies on the separation of the control plane and the data plane during supervisor switchover."
The above suggests that in order to continue forwarding packets in case of a switchover the switch must have FIBs synchronized between active and standby supervisors. I.e. NSF can only work with SSO and not RPR/RPR+.
However the document Cisco StackWise Technology White Paper
(http://cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/switches/ps5023/products_white_paper09186a00801b096a.shtml) in chapter "Multiple Mechanisms for High Availability", says:
"RPR+ for Layer 3 resiliency-Each switch is initialized for routing capability and is ready to be elected as master if the current master fails. Subordinate switches are not reset so that Layer 2 forwarding can continue uninterrupted. Layer 3 Nonstop Forwarding (NSF) is also supported when two or more nodes are present in a stack."
So NSF is declared to work with RPR+. In fact our laboratory tests showed that a stack of 3750s keeps forwarding at L2 and L3 without interruption in case of stack master failure. We don?t quite understand how it could be provided that RPR+ doesn?t synchronize FIB tables between routing processors.
Is it possible that the very architecture of Catalyst 3750 stack calls for FIB synchronization between all stack members regardless of high availability mechanism realization?