HP Virtual Switching Framework (VSF) technology virtualizes multiple physical devices into one virtual fabric which provides high availability due to a significant reduction in recovery time simplified network design and management. Stacking technology has been around for almost a decade now. But, what makes VSF special is the fact that we don’t need dedicated stack cables to build the stack!

With VSF a stack can be built using just the regular Cat-6 Ethernet cables and Ethernet front ports on the switch.

 

Supported On

  • Aruba 2930F Switch Series
  • Aruba 5400R Switch Series
  • Aruba 6300 Switch Series

VSF Deployment methods

  • Auto-join/plug-and-play: configure one switch with VSF and a second, factory default switch that is connected will join and form a VSF automatically.
  • Manual configuration: Configure both VSF members manually.
  • VSF Strict provisioning: Configure one switch with VSF, and manually provision a second switch with Chassis type and mac-address; called strict provisioning.

 

VSF Workflow

A management plane, which provides administrators and management solutions access to management interfaces such as the CLI.

A control plane, which runs protocols and builds routing and MAC forwarding tables.

A forwarding plane, which processes and forwards packets.

 

Switch Roles

Commander

  • Runs network control and management protocols (STP, LACP, RIP, OSPF, Telnet, SNMP)
  • Syncs protocol states to the “Standby” for hitless failover
  • Manages the ASIC (forwarding) tables of *all* switches in the stack

Standby

  • Provides commander-level HA
  • Receives configuration and protocol state information from the commander
  • Runs protocols in a passive mode where their runtime states are updated based on sync from the commander
  • Is ready to take over as Commander of the Stack should the Commander fail

Member

  • Remaining switches (if any) are “Member” switches
  • Only have a copy of the configuration but no knowledge of protocol state
  • Will be upgraded to Standby if commander/standby fails

 

Benefits

  1. Management simplicity: You no longer need to laboriously connect to, configure, and manage switches individually.
  2. Single logical redundant entity
  3. Eliminates the need for L2 redundancy protocols such as spanning tree (STP)
  4. Eliminates the need for L3 redundancy protocols such as Virtual Routing Redundancy Protocol (VRRP)