VMware Solutions Discussions

Deciphering the switch config - How to configure single, multi and LACP vifs


This has always been a particularly challenging debate for a number of people.

As businesses grow, there is often separation of Storage, from Networking, from Operations, from systems.

End result is a lot of cooks in the kitchen, but no one true recipe to reference that everyone can agree upon.

I'm looking to put an end to that debate, atleast in the pockets which will support it.

So, the question I raise out to you folks - Interested in seeing a solid, best practice, confirmed and validated "Switch Configuration" tutorial for VIFS?

I will not guarantee every configuration the world may offer, but some definite guidance, best practices, and "working configs" of the world - Starting with Cisco.

While not every switch is created equal (IOS vs CATOS, etc) there are some things we can all agree on - That every configuration should meet a baseline.

If the interest is there, I'll build out my lab, test, validate and open the 'suggested' config to the masses for your thoughts on the matter.

So, the ball is in your court - Interested in not having to re-invent the wheel when it comes to get a networking config validated?

Take care,




This would be huge. I have many client engagements that get bogged down at this point, as most of the clients don't understand LACP or EtherChannel, etc. I would address CatOS as well as Cisco IOS, and there are differences between the 2000 series, 3000 series, 4000 and 6500 series :-0.....also HP ProCurves (easier) and possibly Foundry.

I would think that the PS group has much of this already done internally....




Excellent point, and I'll certainly tap as many resources as possible on this (especially to try to find the similarities and differences across series platform) as well as CATOS vs IOS, vs other vendors applications.

However, The more collateral I have available, the better ability I'll have to provide something I would actually prescribe and advise upon (in a most-case scenario)

Thus, I won't just take a blanket example without personally confirming and validating the results, as I've seen things done differently in different circumstances, so to account for those configuration 'possibilities' and the most practical case - would be my plan. Definitely would like to take a lot of the thought out of it, and have it be a simple 'Oh, you're doing that, then do this' - end of conversation. 🙂

Thanks for your feedback, I really appreciate it. At the moment I'm lagged on this with a number of other matters going on but it is top of mind and on my whiteboard at home 🙂



Bump. Chris, did you ever finish the document?


Hi Christopher,

Did you have any luck with creating this doc in the end? I would be very eager to see the outcome.

Kind Regards,



Thanks for asking Trevor!

I finalized and wrote up one of my documents, tested it, worked fine - Tested it in one environment and due to other network configuration issues, we ran into a problem. We're still sorting it out with Cisco (signs point to configuration issues on other ports, and ability to get to these bonded ports) but for the time being, I'm holding off on releasing it while we sort out these details with this Cisco case.

It is at the top of my mind and I review this often to hopefully be at a point where I can officially release it


This Thread is more than a year old and if your still working there and have the doc and link we would still like it.



Hi Christopher,

  I would also be very interested in this document.  If the document also covers an peculiarities of 3Com switches that would also be nice.




Hi Christopher,

Did the problems ever get sorted out with Cisco and this document officially released?




Great idea. I would be very happy with a "howto" for Cisco/NetApp configuration.




It would be definitely helpful. Thinking various scenarios, the following pop up in my head

  1. Mmultiple ports with a single switch (multi-mode vif)
  2. Multiple ports with a cross-stack switch set (multi-mode vif)
  3. Multiple ports with two switches with HSRP (single mode vif)
  4. Multiple ports with two switches with HSRP (single mode vif consisting of multimode vifs)

Along the way, if your document can also contain a better treatment of what NetApp does and does not support w.r.t 802.3ad and LACP protocols, it would be great. There is enough confusion in people's mind about EtherChannel vs 803.3ad static vs 802.3ad dynamic vs LACP.. And then there are limitations with 10Gbps TOEs...




Thank you for your feedback on this!

I'm going to start with what I can easily do (in my lab at home) and then scale it out as appropriately, to something I can confirm will operate, validate it, and then confirm it is the appropriate solution which scales at the enterprise level as well (likely would)



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