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I have a cluster of servers that are all running either with BCM5716C NetXtreme II cards or BCM5709C NetXtreme II cards. All servers have their cards teamed by the BACS3 software as:

  • Smart Load Balancing and Failover
  • No standby members
  • No live link
  • No VLAN

All servers then connect to a pair of Dell 6224 switches. The problem I've been observing is that if one of these switches is off (or on but stuck in a diagnostic loop) then the servers loose all connectivity to anything. I was under the impression that with the above configuration they would just drop their speed and continue with the remaining switch until the one with issues is restored.

Why does all connectivity stop and how do I fix it? All servers are Windows 2008 R2 Standard or Datacenter. Some are used for a Hyper-V cluster.

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Have you verified that you have connectivity with the good link when its not setup in a nic team? –  floyd May 19 '12 at 23:28
    
are the 6224 switches considered stackable? –  tony roth May 20 '12 at 16:30
    
@floyd, yes there is connectivity on the links to an active switch when they're not teamed. –  Alex May 21 '12 at 21:33
    
@tonyroth, the switches are not stacked. –  Alex May 21 '12 at 21:33
    
I would verify the arp tables on the server and clients after one of the switches is down. Verify all nics have similar settings/updated drivers etc. You may also need to move one NIC to be a standby member if you dont have 3+ NICs in a loadbalance/failover team mode. –  floyd May 27 '12 at 21:41
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