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Interconnecting Cat4506 with Nortel passport switches

I am migrating a client from Nortel to Cisco. The current Nortel platform uses Passport 8006's at the core and BPS 2000 at the access layer.

I am building dual 4506's in the core and utilizing 3750's at the access layer.

During the network onversion i will need to interconnect the Nortel Passports and the Cat4506's. At this point, fiber uplink is not an option. So, i will have to connect them using 100mb ethernet.

How would I configure the ports on the cat4506 to accept Nortel switching protocol? I have not been able to successfully pass traffic between te two yet.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Re: Interconnecting Cat4506 with Nortel passport switches

They're still just switches.

The copper connection should be a crossover cable.

If the Nortels are using VLANs, they should be 802.1q; I'm pretty sure that Nortel never used a proprietary trunking protocol (and if they did, they usually update to the standard ASAP).

So, theoretically, you should be able to define your inter-switch connection ports for 802.1q, connect your crossover cable, and be good to go (you'll need to configure VLANs on the Cisco to match).

Also VTP is "Cisco only" so make sure the 4000 is in "Transparent" mode to prevent pumping VTP admin packets into a device that won't understand them.

Absolute worse case:

In the event that you can't get the 802.1q working ...

Define your VLAN port groups on the 4000, then connect a crossover cable from each VLAN port group on the Nortel to the comparable port group on the Cisco (If there are eight VLANs on the Nortel that you want to carry to the Cisco, then there'd be eight cables connecting the two).

This would be a good time to re-design your VLANs too, if you want to / need to, since the access-ports don't have tags .. you could connect a port from VLAN 111 on the Nortel into VLAN 456 on the Cisco.

One thing to watch for is that Nortel supports their version of "Etherchannel" such that the multiple links can be on te same blade (same switch), different blades (same switch) or different switches.

If that's the case, you may need to break the group in order to migrate.

Good Luck


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