Networking

BLADE 802.1q VLAN Tagging and Interoperability With Cisco

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Executive Summary

This technical brief focuses on how to configure VLANs on pair of HP GbE2 Interconnect Switches on an HP BladeSystem p-Class, or GbE2c Ethernet Blade Switches on an HP BladeSystem c-Class, for seamless integration into Cisco networks. GbE2/GbE2c switch VLANs may span Cisco switches that support the 802.1Q tagging methodology. Cisco typically refers to 802.1Q VLAN tagging as "VLAN trunking" or "dot1q trunking," the technologies are the same and, therefore, completely interoperable. Cisco's Inter Switch Link (ISL) VLAN tagging is a Cisco-proprietary encapsulation method that predates the IEEE 802.1Q tagging standard. The GbE2/GbE2c switch does not support ISL. Cisco's proprietary VLAN trunk protocol is used to push VLAN membership to other directly-connected Cisco switches on the network. An example showing VLAN Configuration utilizing two VLANs - one for GbE2/GbE2c switch ports, and another for ports connecting the GbE2/GbE2c switches to the Cisco 6509 switches is also shown in the paper. This paper also shows a table which shows the commands needed for configuring VLANs on the CISCO and GbE2/ GbE2C switches. The GbE2/GbE2c switch has two CLI entry modes - Alteon OS (AOS) and ISCLI. Alteon OS is a Unix-type menu based command system, while ISCLI has a command structure more familiar to users of Cisco switches. Finally references have been mentioned for further research.

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