HP A5120-48G El switch (JE069) - how to connect?

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HP A5120-48G El switch (JE069) - how to connect?

Postposted on Wed Feb 05, 2014 1:54 pm

Ok, so here's what I'm getting:

http://h20195.www2.hp.com/v2/GetPDF.asp ... 725ENW.pdf

It has 4 SFP+ connectors plus 2 I/O module slots, you can see those options on the last page of the PDF.

I've got no experience in this so am looking for a little direction on what to read up on, etc. Basically, I'd like to connect 2 or 3 of these switches together via 10 Gbps links. What do you even call that? Bridging? Extending? Stacking? Actually, just writing this out seems to have helped:

High-bandwidth CX4 local stacking achieves 12 Gb/s per connection when using local CX4 stacking, allowing for up to 96 Gb/s total stacking bandwidth (full duplex) in a resilient stacking configuration.

Ok, so I'm looking at these modules, then:

Modules
HP 5500 2-port 10GbE Local Connect Module (JD360B) (10GBase-X)
http://h30094.www3.hp.com/product/sku/10250507
HP 5500/5120 2-port 10GbE SFP+ Module (JD368B) (SFP+)
https://h30094.www3.hp.com/product/sku/10256635
HP 5500/5120 2-port 10GBASE-T Module (JG535A) (RJ45)
http://h30094.www3.hp.com/product/sku/10727159

Should I just look into the JD360B for local connections and the JG535A for longer runs? Or maybe just the JG535A for added flexibility? Or, can I just use the SFP+ ports on the front to connect these switches? Would I get 2 ports going to 1 switch, 2 ports going to another switch? All three in some kind of ring of bandwidth? Our current topology is 3 48-port GB switches connected via fiber or CAT 5e spread throughout the building. Doing a remodel and will want to consolidate and rewire so I haven't had to figure out the mechanics of how to connect switch fabrics before.

So, uh, anyone ever do this with HP switches? :D
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Re: HP A5120-48G El switch (JE069) - how to connect?

Postposted on Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:11 pm

What do you even call that? Bridging? Extending? Stacking?

I'm trying to remember here... it really depends on how you configure them (if they have the configuation)

What you are trying to do is not Bridge (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridging_(networking)) as you have to watch that some packets do not route over the bridge.

you are looking at extending
Stacking: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stackable_switch
Extender: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethernet_extender

Though in some cases I think the port for stacking is called an extension port.

Biggest thing I've noticed is that the vendors don't agree on terminology, even though these are completely layed out in the network specs.
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Re: HP A5120-48G El switch (JE069) - how to connect?

Postposted on Wed Feb 05, 2014 3:54 pm

Actually, I'm pretty sure it's "stacking" that I am doing. None of my stuff will be past 100 meters. I'm just not familiar with the process. Plug in and done? Or do I need to configure something? I guess... will it be better as a one-IP mass or do I just have multiple ethernet links between the switches? Is there a difference in how the backplanes mesh? Gah.
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Re: HP A5120-48G El switch (JE069) - how to connect?

Postposted on Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:38 pm

Thanks for this question - I am studying this stuff and it is getting me to think about it.

Directly relevant: http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Comware-Ba ... -p/6028105
Less relevant, but still informative: http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Comware-Ba ... -p/2339837

According to an answer in the first link, you cannot use the 1GbE ports for stacking on your model, you need the modules. This is definitely stacking, and this will definitely require configuration on the switch.
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Re: HP A5120-48G El switch (JE069) - how to connect?

Postposted on Thu Feb 06, 2014 8:02 pm

Yeah, the front built-in ports have 4 that can be SFP+ 10GgE ports and I was thinking I could use that. Still, looks like the rear modules are what I'll want anyway. Ouch, another $700 per switch to fully populate them.

The stacking technology used in HP A-series (and some E-series) is called IRF (Intelligent Resillient Framework)


Gives me something to go on, thanks! Now to think about the topology as well... connect 'em in a ring, 2 lines connecting each switch?
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Re: HP A5120-48G El switch (JE069) - how to connect?

Postposted on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:48 am

Firmware: https://h10145.www1.hp.com/downloads/So ... ber=JE069A
Install instructions, includes stacking/IRF stuff: http://h17007.www1.hp.com/device_help/H3C-Manuals/5120/5120-SI_5120-EI-Installation-Guide(18Nov13).pdf

AHHHHH I NEED FLASH TO VIEW RELEASE NOTES IN A PDF FORMAT WHY WHY GOD WHY JUST MAKE IT A .TXT

(their earlier release notes are in straight PDF so no idea why they switched it up--how many security-minded network admins are wanting to install Flash just to read release notes?)

Wow, so you have to download a full download of Flash Player, not the ActiveX you'd normally care about. Just to view a PDF with a flash container so you can right-click and "extract file from portfolio" and save the two PDFs that are in the stupid thing. How is this supposed to be easier, HP?!?
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Re: HP A5120-48G El switch (JE069) - how to connect?

Postposted on Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:02 am

So for anyone curious, I had 3 switches and each switch had 2 dual-port JD360B connections. I connected them in a ring topology with 2 links connecting each switch. I believe with these CX4 connectors that gets 24 Gbps from switch to switch. Not too shabby considering most of our stuff is just gigabit links. I had to jump through some CLI hoops to get things working with assigning interfaces and whatnot but in the end it wasn't too hard to do. There is a how-to in HP documentation that walks you through it.

As a side note, these are designated as H3C switches. This means that HP ProCurve bought 3Com and these are really 3Com switches so the ProCurve team has no clue on how to work on them but will gladly hang on the line and try to help you out.
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