[c-nsp] Cisco 3012 IBM Blade Switch Configurations?

Justin C. Darby jcdarby at usgs.gov
Wed Feb 18 11:23:08 EST 2009

Hi Chris,

I strongly suggest if you want to keep a simple mode of operation you 
use a feature on these things that configures them independently of the 
Bladecenter Advanced Management Module.

It's hard to find in the docs, but, what you want is "platform 
chassis-management protected-mode". The AMM has to support it (the 
switch will tell you if it does not and then you need a firmware upgrade 
to the AMM), but if it does, you can change the settings the AMM is 
configuring your switch for involuntarily (which has been an issue for 
us in the past). If you configure using this, these things work just 
like the catalyst switches you'd expect, without mucking around with the 

Good luck (I've got a lot of these things, you'll need it).


ChrisSerafin wrote:
> What MST config do you suggest and on what if not all of the switches?
> The docs from Cisco go into crazy configurations, and I only need 
> basic STP functions: 2 core switches with an etherchannel link from 
> each of them to each blade switch.
> David Hughes wrote:
>> On 17/02/2009, at 5:21 AM, ChrisSerafin wrote:
>>> That brings up a good point about STP. If I have 1 etherchannel 
>>> going from each switch blade to each upstream switch, will the 
>>> switches detect the loops or do I need to manually configure this? 
>>> Thanks for your comments!
>> The blade switches operate as separate switches and can be viewed as 
>> if they were your normal 29xx or 35xx access switch depending on the 
>> CIGESM you buy (well, with a couple of caveats about their management 
>> interfaces).  If the switches are connected to your network via a 
>> single etherchannel then there's no possibility of a loop - other 
>> than a mis-configured etherchannel.  You don't get loops but you 
>> don't get any redundancy at the network layer.  In this setup I 
>> assume you are using some form of NIC teaming and failover on the 
>> blades themselves for redundancy.  That's not going to pick up a 
>> failed uplink on your primary switching path as most teaming drivers 
>> only look at link state on the NIC.
>> If you are following a "normal" dual attached model where each access 
>> switch (be it a top of rack switch or a blade switch module) is 
>> uplinked to 2 different switches then you get link redundancy but 
>> naturally need STP.  If you are running dense virtualisation or vm 
>> server farms then the STP you should be running is MST.
>> Thanks
>> David
>> ...
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