HP/Comware IRF Configuration

This client is updating its HP based network infrastructure from the Procurve line to the Comware line (HP E-series is it? oh well let’s call it Comware!). To be more accurate it is going to be mix between the cheaper Procurve series and the E series.

I am reusing the content summarized here.
IRF (Intelligent Resilient Framework) is a (Comware) HP technology that allows multiple switches to act as a stacked switch, without the requirement of any special stacking modules or cables.
Switches that are interconnected with IRF allow for a simplified topology and management, multi-switch link aggregation, and 1:N redundancy to protect against switch failure.

Let’s start with the configuration of the new Core made up 2 HP Comware 5500. I suppose there will be more to follow as I configure those.

!When you begin configuring IRF, the switches should NOT be cabled together!

Switch Assignment

By default, all switches out of the box are numbered as switch 1 in relation to IRF. To configure IRF, each switch will need to have their own member number. This can be done with the following commands.

system-view
irf member 1 renumber 2
save
quit
reboot

We first enter system-view which allows for configuration of the switch. The second command will renumber the switch to number two. You will need to repeat this step for any additional switches incrementing the switch number. We then save the configuration and reboot. Renumbering does NOT take effect until the switch has been rebooted.

Stacking Switches

We now need to choose the ports that you wish to use to connect the switches with. Here I am create a 20GB LAG, we will use ports ten 1/1/1 and ten 1/1/2 .
On Switch 1

system-view
int ten 1/1/1
shut
int ten 1/1/2
shut
quit

irf-port 1/1
port group int ten 1/1/1
quit

irf-port 1/2
port group int ten 1/1/2
quit

int ten 1/1/1
undo shut
int ten 1/1/2
undo shut
quit

save

irf-portconfiguration active

Switch 2

system-view
int ten 2/1/1
shut
int ten 2/1/2
shut
quit

irf-port 2/1
port group int ten 2/1/1
quit

irf-port 2/2
port group int ten 2/1/2
quit

int ten 2/1/1
undo shut
int ten 2/1/2
undo shut
quit

save

irf-portconfiguration active

The slave switch then restarts!

The first thing that needs to be done is to shutdown the interfaces we would like to add to the IRF group. Next we great new IRF ports. Each interface will be assigned to an IRF port. You can configure this 1 interface for each IRF port or you can use multiple interfaces for each IRF port for even more redundancy. Once all prots have been assigned to an IRF port, we can then enable the interfaces again. We then use the irf-portconfiguration active command to activate the new IRF configuration and save the configuration.

Notice that on switch 2, the interfaces now begin with 2 instead of 1. This is based on the switch number we chose when we renumbered the switch in the first phase.

Cabling/Connecting

When connecting the switches after configuration, you must connect The interfaces in IRF port 1 to the interfaces in IRF port 2 on the second switch. This is critical. If you connect IRF port 1 to IRF port 1 on the second switch, IRF will not function.

Additional information and more detailed configuration information can be found in the IRF Configuration Guide.

Verify the configuration

Just a couple of command to help visualize the setup from the cli

>dis irf
Switch Role Priority CPU-Mac Description
*+1 Master 1 7848-5952-8fbb TT-SWCR-1-Master
2 Slave 1 7848-5962-15c3 -----
--------------------------------------------------

* indicates the device is the master.
+ indicates the device through which the user logs in.

The Bridge MAC of the IRF is: 7848-5952-8f88
Auto upgrade : yes
Mac persistent : 6 min
Domain ID : 0

>dis irf configuration
MemberID NewID IRF-Port1 IRF-Port2
1 1 Ten-GigabitEthernet1/1/1 Ten-GigabitEthernet1/1/2
2 2 Ten-GigabitEthernet2/1/1 Ten-GigabitEthernet2/1/2

>dis irf topology
Topology Info
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
IRF-Port1 IRF-Port2
Switch Link neighbor Link neighbor Belong To
1 UP 2 UP 2 7848-5952-8fbb
2 UP 1 UP 1 7848-5952-8fbb

>dis irf-port load-sharing mode irf-port
irf-port1/1 Load-Sharing Mode:
Layer 2 traffic: packet type-based sharing
Layer 3 traffic: packet type-based sharing

irf-port1/2 Load-Sharing Mode:
Layer 2 traffic: packet type-based sharing
Layer 3 traffic: packet type-based sharing

irf-port2/1 Load-Sharing Mode:
Layer 2 traffic: packet type-based sharing
Layer 3 traffic: packet type-based sharing

irf-port2/2 Load-Sharing Mode:
Layer 2 traffic: packet type-based sharing
Layer 3 traffic: packet type-based sharing

While the stack now acts as one switch, you can still connect to the slave using this command:

irf switch-to member #
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