Config Multi VLANs on Dell Blade Server with Cisco 3032 Switch Blades

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Aug 20th, 2008
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We recently purchased a Dell PowerEdge M1000e Blade Server with 4 Cisco 3032 Blade Switches.

We have 2 4507 core switches.

The Blade Servers will have multiple NICs that may or may not be on separate VLANs. For example:

Server-1 NIC-1 will have IP of NIC-2 will have IP of and NIC-3 will have IP of

Server-2 All NICs will have IP in netowrk

Server-3 NIC-1 will have IP of NIC-2 will have IP of and NIC-3 will have IP of

I have a total of 4 Cisco 3032 Blade Switches that I want to trunk and channel to the 4507's in a failover design that if I lose 1 of the 4507's or a 3032 I will not lose connectivity to any of the Blade Servers.

Would appreciate a discussion on the best design for this.

Correct Answer by branfarm1 about 8 years 11 months ago

There's a good whitepaper on Cisco blade switches and the Dell enclosure here:

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Overall Rating: 5 (4 ratings)
branfarm1 Wed, 08/20/2008 - 10:27
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Hi there. I use something similar, albeit, with only 2 blade switches in a chassis.

You can pretty much think of the blade switches as standalone switches -- so draw your network diagram as if you had 4 2960's (or some other access switch of your choice).

For my implementation, all of my blade switches are connected to each core switch in a standard Triangle topology. I use STP priorities to ensure that the primary core switch is the STP root for each vlan, and I disble the internal links between the blade switches. Each switch carries all of the VLAN's (or at least has the ability to do so), and I trunk the Switch-server links and let the NIC drivers handle the teaming and trunking.

This setup has provided fantastic redundancy and fault-tolerance for me. Essentially, you'll end up with each server having 4 physical network connections. Depending on the capabilities of the NIC drivers, you can do load-balancing across all of the links or just do fault-tolerance (when only one link is active, with others in a standby mode).

Hope that helps,


dohogue Wed, 08/20/2008 - 11:06
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So let me know if I am thinking right here.

Server-1 Nic-1 will communicate over port 1 of all 4 3032 switch modules

Server-1 Nic-2 will communicate over port w of all 4 3032 switch modules


Is that correct?

branfarm1 Wed, 08/20/2008 - 11:46
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I believe that each server will have 1 NIC mapped to a switch module:

Server1 - NIC 1 -- Port 1 of 3032A1

Server1 - NIC 2 -- Port 1 of 3032A2

I believe access to the B fabric requires an extra mezzanine card in each server. Once you have that, it will connect as:

Server1 - NIC 3 -- Port 1 of 3032B1

Server1 - NIC 4 -- Port 1 of 3032B2


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