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Why is VSX considered stacking

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  • 1.  Why is VSX considered stacking

    Posted Jan 07, 2023 04:47 AM
    In stacking (at least from my cisco knowledge), there is 1 logical switch and multiple physical.
    But in VSX,

    Multiple physical switches have different management ip.
    Different switches cannot "see" one another.
    So why is VSX considered stacking?

    VSF is stacking I can argee though.

  • 2.  RE: Why is VSX considered stacking

    Posted Jan 09, 2023 05:15 PM
    VSX or Virtual Switching Extension is a virtualization technology to create a cluster of two Aruba CX switches from the same model 6400, 8320, 8325, 8360 or 8400.  So it is not called stacking at all.

    for more details check this link to VSX best practices.

    If my post was useful accept solution and/or give kudos.
    Any opinions expressed here are solely my own and not necessarily that of HPE or Aruba.

  • 3.  RE: Why is VSX considered stacking

    Posted Jan 10, 2023 07:45 PM
    VSX pairs two switches. Some of the functions of of the pair operate much like you would expect from a traditional stack, however the control plane is distributed which makes the pair more resilient (like a cluster, if you like).

    Despite the options of reference, VSX is awesome.

  • 4.  RE: Why is VSX considered stacking

    Posted Jan 15, 2023 04:47 AM
    In that case what is the advantage of using VSX vs VSF?

  • 5.  RE: Why is VSX considered stacking

    Posted Jan 15, 2023 05:14 AM
    you should note that VSX is not a stacking feature like VSF.
    VSX is designed to provide HA for deployment of multi-chassis link redundancy while maintaining separate control planes.
    This is in contrast to  VSF,  which is designed to simplify deployment of multiple physical devices by offering a single point of configuration and mgmt that uses shared control plane across the entire stack.

    each of them have their own advantages.

    VSX's ability to have two control plane while using "sync" for configuration of the switches to be the same, is a big plus point. This means that you can upgrade without impacting having to take both switches down, thats why VSX supports live upgrade in which you can upgrade the pair of VSX switches without any down time (Assuming all the other switches/servers are dual connected). This is not possible in a solution where you have one control plane between multiple switches. Then you have a number of related features like Active gateway (just to mention one) that is much better/faster/less complicated that VRRP which further enhances Link and IP default gateways redundancy across two VSX switches.

    If my post was useful accept solution and/or give kudos.
    Any opinions expressed here are solely my own and not necessarily that of HPE or Aruba.

  • 6.  RE: Why is VSX considered stacking

    Posted Jan 17, 2023 04:11 AM
    That is what I dont understand about clustering.
    If there are 2 separate ip addresses configured on 2 separate equipment, why dont I use 2 separate switches instead?
    Why use clustering then?

    So aruba switches that can do vsx cannot do vsf, and those that do vsf cannot do vsx?

  • 7.  RE: Why is VSX considered stacking

    Posted Jan 17, 2023 03:50 PM
    You are using two separate switches...

    But they're paired together so that you can benefit from things like multi-chassis LAG which you cannot do with two distinct switches that do not operate together. You get greater redundancy, this way, without having to use some sort of anti-loop protection (such as Spanning Tree) which would result in the multiple uplinks having one active connection and one blocked or standby connection. With VSX all links can remain active without creating a loop.

    With VSF, one switch is controlling configuration and various functions. If that switch fails, another switch must take over the job. In theory there is  some downtime (short) of functionality during this hand-off. With VSX both switches are fully operational and can even hold unique configuration to one another, but they can also have configuration synchronised. Both switches operate all functions and can simultaneously operate from a virtual MAC address(es) so that protocols like VRRP are not required. It is highly resilient.

    VSX is more suited to scenarios where high resilience downstream/upstream connectivity is required. Such as at the aggregation or core layers of the network. VSF can be suitable in the access layer where downstream devices usually only have a single uplink to a switch.

    Youtube: VSX Technology Overview
    Youtube: Aruba VSF vs VSX & Configuration Guide

    Maybe read through some of early the chapters in this guide:
    Aruba AOS-CX 10.11 Virtual Switching Extension (VSX) Guide
    Benefits of VSX, VSX solution topology overview, and VSF versus VSX might be a good start.