In this article we will setup an IRF stack with two HP 5130 switches that run Comware OS.
What is IRF?
IRF (Intelligent Resilient Framework) is a proprietary virtualization/stacking technology used in some HPE switches. It has been developed originally by H3C, but later HPE acquired H3C.
IRF allows us to interconnect several switches and manage them as a single device. Besides that those interconnected switches form a single fabric and appear as a single node to other network devices.
IRF does not require any dedicated stacking modules, because it uses regular 10Gb Ethernet ports for stacking.
Comware OS running switches support different number of switches in a stack depending on the switch model and the software version. The 5130 switches with the latest firmware support up to 9 switches in an IRF stack.
Switches can be interconnected in a ring or a daisy-chain manner. In this article we will configure two 5130-24G-4SFP+ (JG932A) switches as a single IRF stack. The topology of our stack is shown below:
The green links shown above are 10GbE connections.
Below is a (very) short introduction to some of the concepts behind IRF technology. Please, read it, so you can understand why we make certain configuration changes on the switches.
IRF Member ID.
IRF Member ID is a unique ID that identifies a stack member. All switches in a stack should have different Member ID if we want them to form an IRF fabric. Default Member ID is 1. We will change Member ID of one of the switches.
IRF Member Priority.
Member priority is used to determine which switch will be selected as a master in our IRF stack. The switch with the higher priority will be elected the master. The default priority is 1.
IRF Port is a logical interface on a switch used for communication with other stack members, and it should have at least one physical interface assigned to it. We can assign/bind several interfaces to an IRF port which will automatically become an aggregate link.
Step 1. Configure IRF-SW1 (master)
Go to Switch 1 which we want to be a master and assign it a priority 32 (the default priority is 1) . The following commands will do this:
system-view irf member 1 priority 32
You can then verify the settings on Switch 1 using display irf command:
You can see from the output that Member ID is 1 and Priority is 32
Step 2. Configure IRF Port on IRF-SW1
Now let’s create and configure our IRF port on Switch 1 which is required for IRF operation. We will create logical irf-port 1/1 and assign physical ports Ten-GigabitEthernet1/0/27 and Ten-GigabitEthernet1/0/28 to it. We should shutdown the physical interfaces before we can assign them to an IRF port. Below are the commands:
interface Ten-GigabitEthernet 1/0/27 shutdown interface Ten-GigabitEthernet 1/0/28 shutdown irf-port 1/1 port group interface Ten-GigabitEthernet1/0/27 port group interface Ten-GigabitEthernet1/0/28
Once you have added the physical ports to an IRF port you will see a message on the console, saying that you have to save your config and activate it using irf-port-configuration active command. Before doing this we will bring up our physical interfaces:
interface Ten-GigabitEthernet 1/0/27 undo shutdown interface Ten-GigabitEthernet 1/0/28 undo shutdown save
You can run display current-configuration and display irf configuration to verify the settings: