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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

How to configure two Cisco switches (3560) for redundancy? HSRP or VRRP?

We have two 3560 switches at one of our location and we would like to make them redundant. What is the best way to achieve redundancy. What are the pros and cons between Stack and HSRP?

You cannot stack 3560 switches doesn’t support Cisco’s stack wise technology that 3750's support. You can use HSRP or VRRP. They are the preferred method for router redundancy.

Configuration steps to maintain redundancy on the 3560 switches
  1. Use ether channel’s to between the switches, and bundle more than one gig ports (to increase capacity and redundancy)
  2. Configure L2 trunk on the ether channel connectivity between switches, to span the vlans between the 3560 switches
  3. Configure Layer 3 SVIs for the VLANs between the switches, and have HSRP/VRRP configured between the L3 SVI's.. eg.. VLAN 100 on switch 1 - , VLAN 100 on switch 2 - , HSRP VIP - configure pre-empt etc on hsrp
  4. Configure the edge switches (if any) with L2 trunks to these 3560 switches
  5. Configure the default gateways for the VLANs (say VLAN 100 taken before) to the HSRP VIP between the switches (
  6. Standardize your configurations on switches, and use best practice Layer 2/Layer 3 parameters to have best results.. for eg, you can enable bpdu guard, portfast, root guard, RSTP etc on these switches for reliable use of resources

Please note that HSRP is good, but will only use one switch at a time unless you set-up 2 groups. HSRP is typically used for fail over set-up. Setting up ether channels is a great practice since this will bind the two together.
Please click here for more details to configure HSRP
Please click here for more details to configure VRRP

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