Re: Cisco 6500 and Nortel 5500 switches

Unanswered Question
Apr 5th, 2008


Any one created port-channels with Nortel 5500 switches at the edge i.e. with two 6500's running HSRP ? A config would be much appreciated

I am assuming LACP will be the protocol

much appreciated

I have this problem too.
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Istvan_Rabai Sat, 04/05/2008 - 00:28

Hi Saquib,

I helped a guy to create an LACP port-channel between a Nortel switch and a Cisco switch.

I guided him with the configuration of the Cisco side of the port-channel.

I can help you with the LACP configuration but not the Nortel switch specifics.

Please tell what exactly you need.



royalblues Sat, 04/05/2008 - 01:27

You say that your 6500's are running HSRP. Based on this i assume that you need a connectivity to both the 6500's but do you have dual connections to each of them to run LACP?

If you have a single link, STP will block one.

Cisco switches do not support SMLT which a nortel switch does and loadbalance traffic between 2 chassis at L2


saquib.mkhan Sun, 04/06/2008 - 12:06

I don't have an issue either creating it on the Cisco side or the Nortel side using LACP.

Instead of using MLT / SMLT on the 5500 switches, LACP is the compatible protocol between Cisco and Nortel.

Just wondering if someone has already done it and can share the configurations to confirm. I have it kinda running in a lab environment. It should be a common configuration.

Istvan_Rabai Sun, 04/06/2008 - 22:32

Hi Saquib,

Here's a sample config I used for connecting a Cisco switch to a Nortel switch:

conf t

port-channel load-balance {load-balance method}

lacp system-priority 100

interface range gig2/11 - 14


switchport trunk encapsulation dot1q

switchport trunk allowed vlan x,y,z

switchport trunk native vlan x

switchport mode trunk

channel-protocol lacp

channel-group 1 mode active

The load-balance method depends on your traffic. Please read more about it on the link here:

Click on the "Configuring EtherChannel Load Balancing" link.

Load balancing can be based on the mac-addresses, ip addresses (on 6500 and 4500 switches on port numbers as well).



saquib.mkhan Tue, 04/15/2008 - 10:42

I do have the stuff working with LACP with both on the Cisco side and the Nortel side. Does anyone have a configuration from the Nortel side 5500 or 470 switch side, not 8600 ?

Another option, I am told if I use MLT on the Nortel side and Port-Channel on the Cisco side, I should be able to talk. Is that true, has anyone tried this without using LACP ?


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