Summary: Trunking - Sun QFE Cards with Cabletron(Enterasys) Smart Switch 6000 (Matrix 6)

From: <>
Date: Tue Sep 25 2001 - 11:57:30 EDT
Hello All,

There were 4 or 5 of you that expressed interest in hearing the summary of
responses that I received.  However, I didn't receive the response from the
group that I had hoped for.

The original question was:
>Has anyone done any trunking using Sun's Quad Fast Ethernet cards and a
>Cabletron Smart Switch.  I would like to increase the bandwidth to one of our
>servers and thought it would be OK to us a qfe card on the server and connect
>to the ports of a Cabletron switch.  Both adhere to the IEE802.3 Ethernet
>standard.  However, Cabletron told me that this is an unsupported configuration
>that may work if we disable their Smart Trunking protocol.  I would just like
>know if anyone has tried it with or without success.

Zack Zilakakis did mention that the Cisco Catalyst worked well with the Sun's
QFE cards.  I also believe that I read on Cisco's web site that the Catalyst
5000/5500 is Sun Trunking Certified.   I didn't find anything of the sort on
Cabletron's web site and their technical help didn't respond to my e-mail.
Sun's response is shown below.

I guess I will have to buy the a single QFE card and try it with the switch
before we continue with our upgrade plans.  Since Sun's QFE Card and Cabletron's
switch are both 802.3 and 802.3u compliant,  I guess they will work flawlessly
together. ; )

Thanks for the tip Zack!

Sun's Response:

In regards to your question about the 8.2.3u standard and qfe interfaces:
This is stated on our external site at the qfe page (Link below)


1.1: Implementation of 100BaseT overview

Implementing 100BASE-T is a cost-effective, high-speed networking solution to
the network bandwidth bottleneck. It has emerged as one of the fastest growing
implemetations with support from numerous network vendors. Fast Ethernet can be
implemented in the shared or switched environment by connecting to a 100BASE-T
Ethernet hub or switch.

The 100Base-T on Sun Sparc Ultras , and SparcStations with SunFastEthernet and
SunSwift Options conforms to the interoprability specifications defined by the
Ethernet Alliance and IEEE standards 802.3u 100BASE-TX , 802.13 and 802.3
10BASE-T. 100BaseT Fast Ethernet uses the same CSMA/CD access method used by
ethernet ,which makes this technology easy to integrate with existing networks .

Common installations use the standard RJ45 connector which is 100BASE-TX (2 pair
Category 5 cabling ) for the node to hub/switch link, however other variety of
options are available by using the MII Media Independent Interface connection,
such as a MII-FX transceiver for Fiber (100BaseFL, 100BaseFX), MII -T4
(100BaseT4) and MII-AUI transceiver (for 10Base5 or 10Base2 coaxial cabling).

The 2.0 version of the adapter utilizes the FEPS ASIC developed for the built-in
10/100 Mbps Ethernet on th e Sun(TM) Ultra(TM) 1 Creator 170E and higher models.
SunFastEthernet interoperates with all hubs/switches that comply with the
100BASE-T standard. 10/10 0Mbps auto-sensing is used on the interfaces to
negotiate with the
"link partner" for optimal speed and duplex setting., while be compatiable with
"older out-dated" 10Base-T technology.

Taking advantage of 100BaseT Fast Ethernet, Hubs and switching technology, high
bandwidth network application s on Sun Servers can have up to 10 Times the
over 10Mbs ethernet.


There are other doucmentation for routing and general 10Mb ethernet that may be
usefule to reference. See documentation and reference sections below that has
links and
pointers to other detailed information related to Fast Ethernet.

Pre-Installation notes

Plan the network topology, wiring and hub implementation carefully. Using
Certified and tested cabling is essential to a solid 100BaseT network. Cabling
Specifications for
10BaseT are not as strict thus problems may not show up until 100Mb ethernet is
implemented. 100BaseTX has a limit of 100 meters segment length and maximum
span of approximately 210 meters. 100BaseT allows only two repeater hops per
segment, with repeater hops less than 15 meters apart in order not to exceed the
maximum span. When implementing 100BaseT, it is important that the network
devices are IEEE 802.3 compliant.

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Received on Tue Sep 25 10:56:47 2001

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