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As the title says, I manage a small network which uses a Cisco 3560X as the core switch. We have recently got a 2nd identical switch and I have started thinking about how to add some redundancy to the network.

Since the 3560X cannot be stacked, I was wondering which redundancy method would be best, in case of a switch failure. Do you think it is better to have a backup switch ready to be cabled and configured in such a failure or configure something more advanced, like HSRP?

Power and uplink redundancy have been taken care of already.

Thank you in advance for your input!

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Both switches dual connected to everything (including each other) with HSRP for L3 and STP for L2, which doesn't tell you anything about how to actual do it. :)

To find out how to do it, I would recommend you go to http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns982/networking_solutions_program_home.html#~bng and read the LAN and Wireless LAN Foundation Guides. They will help you both to understand the design, how it works, and even gives sample configurations in the Configuration Files guide.

  • HSRP seems to be the only choice. I have set HSRP before, but thanks for the Cisco Design Zone link - I wasn't aware of it! – IG83 Mar 19 '13 at 20:14
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You can provide redundancy leveraging the Spanning Tree Protocol however it's only useful for distribution / core switches. It will not provide redundancy for switches acting as the access switches (switches to which users / servers are directly connected).

  • Are you sure that you cannot use HSRP in layer 3 switches, like the 3560X? – IG83 Mar 19 '13 at 10:25
  • I'm sorry. I haven't red your question with proper attention. You're absolutely right. For 3rd layer switches you can use HSRP. At least it's supported on 3450X. – Guardian Mar 19 '13 at 11:15

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