Cisco Catalyst to Dell Powerconnect

Unanswered Question
Sep 23rd, 2008

Are there any compatability issues between connecting up a Cisco Catalyst 3550 and a Dell Powerconnect 2216? Support at Dell says there are no known issues, but my IT department says that there might be.

I have this problem too.
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Giuseppe Larosa Tue, 09/23/2008 - 12:24

Hello Daniel,

be aware that VTP is Cisco proprietary so if you use it you need to create all the required Vlans on the DELL.

You should be able to do a 802.1Q trunk (ISL again is proprietary) just have a look at native vlan settings on both sides they must match.

Also STP needs some thoughts:

PVST+ is cisco proprietary, verify with dell documentation if MST 802.1s is supported.

Probably the cisco switch will see the Dell has a legacy 802.1D with standard config and so only one instance is used by the two switches on the link for all the permitted vlans.

PVST+ BDPUs are tunneled via trunk links and can reach another cisco switch downstream the DELL switch.

Hope to help


d-mccracken Wed, 09/24/2008 - 08:24

The problem that I am experiencing is at random intervals, a server that we have connected to our network will only be able to communicate to workstations within it's vlan. All workstations from outside the vlan can not communicate to the server, nor can the server communicate to the workstations. It would seem to me that if the problem is an incompatablility issue, then it would happen all the time rather than part of the time.

I already chatted with Dell on their switch, and they mentioned to me that the powerconnect should pass all vlan tagged frames through to whatever their destination is. Once the cisco gets that, it is up to it to foward it on as per it's routing table.

I will check in on the details that you listed above. In the mean time, are there any second opinions?

d-mccracken Thu, 09/25/2008 - 05:41

Let me ask these two questions instead:

1)If I am able to reach everything within the local vlan of the server, does that mean it is getting past the dell switch or not?

2) If I can ping the Cisco Switch, but a traceroute times out immediatly when in normal circumstances it is the first hop, could that mean that traffic is being blocked at the first hop?

Answering these two questions may help me trouble shoot were the problem may lie.


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