IT Operations Management (ITOM)

Unravelling the Mysteries of Stackable Switch Management – NNMi 10.00 Stackable Feature

Unravelling the Mysteries of Stackable Switch Management – NNMi 10.00 Stackable Feature


With the growing complexities in the data center network, stackable switches are expected to be the workhorses in the next-generation virtualized data center.


Stackable switches offer a cost-effective alternative to traditional network design. They offer a gamut of features such as:

  • Reliability and redundancy
  • Performance and space optimization
  • Simplified configuration and increased scalability    

Ultimately, stackable switches offer network administrators easier, faster deployment and greater manageability.


To fully understand the potential of stackable switches, picture a single management IP address for a stack configuration as many as nine HP A-Series switches that creates a single, unified resilient virtual fabric. This is what HP Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) looks like. It is a virtualization technology, providing high resiliency, robust design, and operational simplification. The benefits of HP IRF abound: faster deployment, simpler configuration, and easier deployment of configuration and networking operations.


These stacks create a unified, resilient, virtual fabric in the form of a single logical node with vastly greater monitoring capabilities which leads to a boon for the network operators and administrators!


Wouldn’t it make life easier for network administrators and operators to be able to easily manage these stackable switches with network management software that offers a single view of a complete stackable switch? This view is further enriched with the Spiral Discovery of chassis members, connectivity between the chassis units, the status of the chassis members and the physical sensors associated with the chassis members.


HP Network Node Manager i Software (NNMi) 10.00 makes it easy for your team to manage these multi-chassis devices, verify the Layer 2 connectivity between stack members, and monitor the participating chassis redundancy groups.



You can  download Network Node Manager i here to experience it for yourself.



Managing HP Intelligent Resilient Framework (IRF) Cluster


HP’s IRF has a single management IP address for up to nine HP A-Series switch/routers. NNMi provides the status of each participating chassis, card, port, and L2 connection, plus the causal analysis (displayed on the Conclusions tab of each object’s form).


This information gives administrators and operators a big picture view!


NNMi 10.00 provides a precise Layer 2 network visualization of the stackable switch/router members and IRF links between the IRF members (including redundant IRF ports ).



Managing the Cisco Nexus range of switches


Cisco’s Nexus 5000 and 7000 series of switches are intelligently managed in NNMi along with fabric extenders (FEX). NNMi does a spectacular job of rendering the stackable view of the containment of the FEX in the Cisco Nexus chassis along with the FEX inter-connectivity within the chassis members. The containment hierarchy of the entities—including the chassis and its contained card modules and their physical ports are neatly organized in the UI. The status of the FEX is derived from the underlying hosted card modules of the FEX.


Look at this NNMi L2 topology view showing a Cisco Nexus chassis at the center with multiple FEX modules interconnected to the chassis.This visualization is a case in point that vividly presents a perspective of the virtual networking world.


Physically tracing these interconnections would mean a lofty effort to get this topology map!


What’s more


With support for over eighty device vendors and thousands of device models under its belt, NNMi supports the management of industry-leading stackable switching technologies such as:


  • Cisco StackWise and StackWise Plus
  • Cisco Virtual Switching systems (VSS)
  • Juniper QFabric
  • Alcatel OmniSwitch virtual chassis




All these are features packed within NNMi 10.00 which translates to easier deployment, re-commissioning, health monitoring, and causal analysis on the links, ultimately leading to savings in cost and time.


Up Next …


 I am sure you will be interested in exploring more such features in NNMi 10.00:



  • infrastructure management
About the Author


Over 11 years of experience in design and development of NMS/EMS products and presently with the Device content support covering broad based features of multitude device vendors in NNMi.