load balancing layer 2

Unanswered Question
Feb 25th, 2008

Hi all, can anyone tell me if we can load balance at layer 2 ? I have used a nortel smlt solution before, but I see cisco does not do this ? is there any reason, and does etherchannel load balance at layer 2 ?

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aijaz802 Mon, 02/25/2008 - 02:06


Ether channel allows load sharing/balancing of traffic among the links in the channel as well as redundancy in the event that one or more links in the channel fail.

Rate if it helps...

Best Regards,


royalblues Mon, 02/25/2008 - 03:21


Cisco switches do not support anything of the sort of SMLT.

If you have two redundant links from your access switches to the 2 distribution switches, the only way to loadbalance and utilize the links is to configure the dist switches in such a way that they are primary root for a set of vlans and secondary for the other


Joseph W. Doherty Mon, 02/25/2008 - 05:00

As Aijaz mentions, channeling will L2 load balance between logical switches. (NB: take careful note of which hashing method is used - they often offer several choices.)

A variation of what Narayan suggests, if trying to load balance, again L2, between a logical edge switch and two upstream switches, and if using multiple VLANs, Flexlink would support static load balancing by manual configuration of which VLANs transverse which link.


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