Apr 09

Connecting Dual Cable Connected Servers

I prefer to setup servers that can do cable redundancy with LACP, using either Brocade’s MCT or Cisco’s VPC technology. If you are not familiar with these terms, MCT is Multi-Chassis Trunking, while VPC is Virtual Port Channel. These two technologies perform a similar functions. They allow two switches to perform a LAG or Etherchannel to a single device like a server or another switch.

Servers that have dual connections, I try to connect them to the same port on each of the two switches. This makes it easy to figure out what port on the other switch the server is connected to. I feel this is the best way to provide redundancy to servers with cable redundancy. Using LACP with MCT or VPC gives the server double the bandwidth and eliminates the possibility of a spanning tree loop through the server…. Yes, I have had this happen before.

When I have systems that consist of two servers that are single cable connected, I still connect them over the two switches, on the same port numbers. I don’t have to worry about loops because they are two separate servers. Cisco’s CUCCX servers are a good example of this. This system is so important that we have a second server. If one switch fails the application will fail over to the other server and keep the system up and running.

What about those single cable connected server? I prefer to connect them to a single layer 2 switch with redundant power, redundant management module and redundant switch fabrics.

How do you prefer to connect your dual homed servers?
Do you keep the ports assignments the same across both switches?
Let me know, I would like to hear from you!!

Jan 29

Brocade’s BCNE Certification

Brocade’s Brocades Certified Network Engineer (BCNE) exam is their associate level LAN/WAN certification. This certification could be compared to the Cisco’s CCNA certification. Anybody that has a good understanding of Ethernet LAN/WAN technologies and some console time on their Ethernet Switches and Routers would have a good chance of passing this certification. I found the questions to be straight forward and easy to understand what they were asking.

Brocade has provide a study guide at the link below. You want to download the BCNE Nut Shell Study Guide. The material in the study guide covers the topics on the test, but not in as much detail as I thought was needed to pass the test. I suggest doing a bit more studying the topics talked about and make sure you fully understand the topic. Brocade also provides a free practice test you can take. I believe you will need a login in order to access it. CNE 100-WBT Brocade BCNE Knowledge Assessment (FREE) is the name of the course.


I have passed this test and plan on taking the BCNP next.

Have you taken the exam?
Do you plan on taking this Exam?
Do you find any value in this Certification?

I would like to hear from you!