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Introduction to Cisco StackWise Virtual

Today I am going to talk about the technology which generally used in Cisco 3850 and is widely used now a days. The Technology named as Cisco StackWise Virtual.

What is the Cisco StackWise Virtual ?
Cisco StackWise Virtual combines the two switches into a single logical switch with a large number of ports, offering a single point of management. One of the member switches is the control and management plane master, while the other one is the standby. 

The virtualization of multiple physical switches into a single logical switch is only from a control and management perspective. Because of the control plane being common, it may look like a single logical entity to peer switches. 

Fig 1.1- Cisco StackWise Virtual

The data plane of the switches are converged, that is, the forwarding context of a switch might be passed to the other member switch for further processing when traffic is forwarded across the switches. An election mechanism that determines which switch has Cisco StackWise Virtual active and which one is a control plane standby, is available. The active switch is responsible for management, bridging and routing protocols, and software data path. These are centralized on the active switch supervisor of the Cisco StackWise Virtual active switch. 

What is the difference between StackWise-480 and StackWise Virtual? 
The existing StackWise technology greatly simplifies the access or distribution layer using high-speed back-panel StackWise ports and cables. The new StackWise Virtual extends switch stack function over the network ports and cables. This solution offers new design potential to virtualize networking devices much beyond a single rack unit space. 

How does StackWise Virtual support high availability mechanisms? 
A StackWise Virtual supports a 1+1 HA redundancy model using Cisco SSO and Nonstop Forwarding (NSF) technologies 

What is the StackWise Virtual Link (SVL)? 
A The SVL is a special interchassis system link between two stack members in a StackWise Virtual domain. It enables extending stack fabric communication over network ports to virtualize
the system. The SVL connections do not run any network protocol and remain transparent in Layer 2 and Layer 3 network topologies. 

What is the SVL communication mechanism for both stack member switches? 
All interchassis system control communication between stack members is encapsulated over a special 64-byte StackWise Virtual Header (SVH). This communication is carried over reserved VLAN ID 4094 from the global range. 

Cisco Catalyst 3850 Series Switches in a Cisco StackWise Virtual solution simplify operational efficiency with a single control and management plane, scale system bandwidth with distributed forwarding plane, and assist in building resilient networks using the recommended network design. Cisco StackWise Virtual allows two physical Catalyst 3850 Series Switches to operate as a single logical virtual switch using a 40-G or 10-G Ethernet connection. 

Configuring Cisco StackWise Virtual
Route-XP> enable 
Route-XP# configure terminal 
Route-XP(config)# stackwise-virtual 
Route-XP(config-stackwise-virtual)# domain

Cisco StackWise Virtual Link
Route-XP> enable 
Route-XP# configure terminal 
Route-XP(config)#interface TenGigabitEthernet1/0/2 
Route-XP(config-if)#stackwise-virtual link 1 

StackWise Virtual Dual-Active-Detection link 
Route-XP> enable 
Route-XP# configure terminal 
Route-XP(config)#interface TenGigabitEthernet1/0/2 
Route-XP(config-if)#stackwise-virtual dual-active-detection 

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