Unified access layer for wired and wireless LAN with HP - Part 10
By Rebecca Humphress, HP Networking Global Product Marketing
Decisions, decisions. You make them every day. Some are easy like what to have for breakfast. Others are more challenging like what new networking switch will provide me with the best TCO based on my needs now and help me scale as my business grows? I’m hoping that I can help give some guidance on the offerings we have for pay-as-you-grow switches with either Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) or Mesh Stacking.
HP stacking technologies extend the performance and scalability benefits of modular, chassis-based switches to both modular and stackable switches. No longer do you need to compromise enterprise capabilities for the convenience and cost of a stackable switch.
HP stacking technologies, including HP Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) and HP Mesh Stacking, are included in a variety of HP data center, campus and branch office switches. The operation of the two network stacking technologies is similar with some minor differences that I’ll highlight here.
Now here are the 5 key benefits of HP’s stacking technologies (both IRF & Mesh):
- Simplify the network design. Simplify networks from three tiers to two tiers with HP stacking technologies. Helping eliminate network layers reduces the latency that’s inherent in multi-tier networks, enabling better user experience, whether it is for voice, video, and other highly sensitive applications. With fewer network devices to purchase and manage, both capital and operational expenses are lower.
- Enable higher performance. Deliver greater efficiency and performance. Unlike with STP, which can consume half of the network bandwidth, HP stacking technologies gives you all the bandwidth you are paying for. HP stacking technologies keep all the links active and enable efficient, high-bandwidth connectivity throughout the switching plane. This is true even for multicast data, which is often a major consumer of network bandwidth.
- Deliver greater resiliency. Use HP stacking technologies to decrease network downtime by providing higher levels of availability and resiliency. HP stacking technologies deliver faster failover than STP and its relatives, which means higher availability.
- Ease of management. No longer do you need to connect, configure, and manage switches individually. HP Stacking technologies create a single logical switch by grouping several physical switches into a stack or domain with a single IP address. You can then control multiple active switches via a single management interface, which vastly simplifies network configuration and operations.
- Add capacity as you grow. You can add capacity on a pay-as-you-grow basis by adding switches to the stack. Initial acquisition costs are lower because you buy only the capacity you need and there’s no compromise on scalability as needs grow.
Compare and contrast stacking technologies
Although there are many similarities between IRF and Mesh Stacking, there are some differences as well, as they are for different types of applications. This simple table explains the common and differentiated features of IRF and Mesh Technology:
Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF)
Have more questions about our stacking solutions? We have the answers! Please leave a comment or question in the Post a Comment section below. We want to hear from you!!
Do you have IRF or Mesh stacking within your network? How do you like it? We would love to hear your feedback.
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1Source: "HP 3800 Switch Series Competitive Performance, Power Consumption and TCO Evaluation Versus Cisco Catalyst 3750-X and Juniper EX4200 Series," Tolly Report, September 27, 2011 http://tolly.com/DocDetail.aspx?DocNumber=211127