HP ProCurve Stack Management

HP ProCurve Stack Management (termed stacking in this online Help) allows the configuration of a group of switches so that they appear as one unit with one IP address. This provides a single point of IP management for all switches in the stack. All members of the stack must be on the same subnet; the stack cannot cross a router. There is no limit on the number of stacks you can create. HP ProCurve Stack Management allows intermediate devices that do not support stacking, which enables you to include devices that are some distance from the Commander.

A stack can have up to 16 switches; one switch must be the Commander, the other fifteen switches are Members

Benefits of stacking include:

Quick Scroll To:

Devices Supported

HP ProCurve Stack Management operates on the HP ProCurve Switches 8000M, 4000M, 1600M, 2424M and 2400M with software update C.08.XX installed.

Stacking Terms

Stacking When VLANs Exist

Each switch in the stack (Commander and Members) uses only the default VLAN configured in that switch for stacking links. In the Web browser interface, this is the VLAN labeled Default <VLAN ID>. All VLANs in the stack need to be interconnected through the default VLAN.

The VLAN ID for the default VLAN must be the same for all switches in the stack. The default VLAN name can differ among switches in the stack. For example, if the VLAN ID (VID) for the default VLAN in Switch A is "1" and the default VID for Commander Switch B is "5", then Switch A can't be a Candidate or a Member of Commander Switch B's stack, even though you may have connectivity to Switch A from Commander Switch B through other tagged VLANs.

Note: If the default VLAN is untagged, then all switches that have the default VLAN untagged on a port providing a stacking link are eligible to be in the stack (if stacking is enabled on such switches).

SNMP Communities in Stacks

When a Candidate switch becomes a member of  a stack, it automatically becomes a member of any SNMP community to which the Commander belongs. However, if a Member has its own IP addressing, it can belong to SNMP communities that other switches in the stack (including the Commander) do not belong. 

How Passwords are Used with Stacking

If the Candidate switch has a password, you must know the password of the Candidate switch in order to add it to the stack. After a Candidate switch is added to a stack, it uses the password of the Commander switch from that point forward. If there is no Manager password for the stack, the new Member will not have a Manager password either, even if it had a Manager's password before it became a member of the stack. If you change the Commander's passwords, the new passwords are propagated to all Members of the stack.

If you move a Member switch from one stack to another, the Member will acquire the password of the new Commander switch. You must know the password of the current Commander in order to move the Member from one stack to another stack.

Operator and Manager passwords are the same for the entire stack. You cannot change the password on a Member switch.

If you want to move more than one switch in an operation, the switches must have the same password. If not, you need to move them separately because you will be prompted for the password.

The Commander

Characteristics

Creating a Commander

Note: It is recommended that you leave Auto Grab set to Off if you plan to have more than one stack in a subnet. This prevents a Commander switch from automatically adding Candidate switches with Auto Join set to On. You can add the Candidate switches to the stack manually using the Commander's Stack Management page.

  1. Assign an IP address to the switch that will be a Commander.
  2. Select the Configuration tab in the Status view of the device.
  3. Click on the Stacking button. The Stacking page appears.
  4. In the Stacking drop-down list, select Commander.
  5. Change the Transmission Interval if you want a shorter or longer interval between discovery packets being sent. It is recommended that you keep the default setting.
  6. You must assign a name to the new stack in the Stack Name field.
  7. Set Auto Grab to On if you want the Commander to add any new discovered devices to the stack automatically. The devices to be added as Members must have Auto Join set to On. 
  8. Click on Apply Changes to save your settings. The stack is now created.
  9. If you do not want to save your changes, click on Reset Changes.

Changing the Commander for a Member

  1. From the Web page of the Commander for the stack to which you want to add the Member, click on the Stack Management button. The Stack Management page appears.
  2. Click on the show all radio button to display all Members of all stacks.
  3. Select the Member from the list in the bottom window, then click Add to Stack.
  4. If you are prompted for a password, enter the password of the former Commander.
  5. The Member will have a new Commander and be a Member that Commander's stack.

Removing a Commander from a Stack

When you remove a Commander, the Members of that stack become Candidates for membership in another stack. The Commander password acquired by the Members is not removed when the Commander leaves the stack.

To remove a Commander switch from a stack:
  1. Select the Configuration tab in the Status view of the Commander switch.
  2. Click on the Stacking button. The Stacking page appears.
  3. In the Stacking drop-down list, select Disable, Member, or Candidate. This replaces the Commander designation for that switch.
  4. Click on Apply Changes.

The Members

Characteristics

Adding a Candidate to a Stack or Moving a Member Between Stacks

Note: Both the Commander and the Candidate or Member switch must be UP for the Add to succeed.

Method A

Note: You can Ctrl-click to add multiple switches to a stack if they have the same password. If you select multiple switches with different passwords and try to add them, the switches that are not added will appear in a dialog box. You can then try to add them using their password(s). Members will take the password of the Commander after they are added to the stack.

  1. From the Web page of the Commander, click on the Stack Management button. The Stack Management page appears.
  2. Click on the show candidates radio button to display the Candidate switches (switches not currently members of a stack), or click on the show all radio button to display all Candidates and Members of all stacks.
  3. Click on the Candidate or Member switch in the bottom list that you want to add to the stack, then click on the Add to Stack button. You will be prompted for the password of the switch. Enter the password if it exists. 
  4. The Candidate or Member switch becomes a member of the stack for the selected Commander.

Method B

  1. Select the Configuration tab in the Status view of the device.
  2. Click on the Stacking button. The Stacking page appears.
  3. In the Stacking page select Member from the Stacking drop-down list.
  4. Change the Transmission Interval if you want a shorter or longer interval between discovery packets being sent.
  5. Choose a Commander for this Member in the Select Command Switch drop-down list.
  6. Click on Apply Changes to save your settings. 
  7. If you do not want to save your changes, click on Reset Changes.

Removing a Member from a Stack

It is recommended that the Member switch be UP when it is removed from a stack. This permits handshaking to occur between the Member and the Commander, and the Member automatically becomes a Candidate. If the Member is not UP when removed from the stack, the Commander cannot tell the Member that it is no longer a member of that stack. The Member switch still thinks it is part of the stack. The result is that the Member has a conflicting configuration. 

To resolve a conflict with a Member switch, select the Stacking button for the Member and choose Candidate from the Stacking drop-down list. 

When you remove a Member from the stack, its switch number (SN) becomes available for use by another switch that is added to the stack. Auto Join is set to No.

Method A

  1. From the Web page of the Commander, click on the Stack Management button. The Stack Management page appears.
  2. Click on the Member switch that you want to remove from this stack. 
  3. Click on the Remove from Stack button. The Member is removed from this stack.

Method B

  1. Select the Configuration tab in the Status view of the device.
  2. Click on the Stacking button. The Stacking page appears.
  3. In the Stacking page select Candidate from the Stacking drop-down list.
  4. The switch returns to being a Candidate.

The Stack Management Page

Stack management allows Commander switches to coordinate configuration information with other switches in the stack and maintain information about stack membership. 

To access the Stack Management page:

Information displayed:

The Stack Closeup Page

The Stack Closeup page displays the Closeup views for all the switches in the stack. 

To access the Stack Closeup page:

The following information is displayed with each device:

Enabling Ports

  1. Click on the ports you wish to enable, or click on the Select All Ports button if you want all ports enabled.
  2. Click on the Enable Ports button.

Disabling Ports

  1. Click on the ports you wish to disable, or click on the Select All Ports button if you want all ports disabled.
  2. Click on the Disable Ports button.

The Stack Access Page

The Stack Access page allows Web access to all Members of a stack. 

To access the Stack Access page:

The Stack Access page allows you to:


/rnd/device_help/help/hpwnd/webhelp/HPJ4121A/openbook.gif Go to Table of Contents

Copyright © 2000 by Hewlett-Packard Company