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Data Center

Virtual Switching System

Introduction
The Cisco Catalyst 4500,6500 Series Virtual Switching System (VSS) allows the clustering of two or more physical chassis together into a single, logical entity. This technology allows for enhancements in all areas of network design, including high availability, scalability, management, and maintenance.
This paper explains the Cisco VSS technology, including its benefits and requirements. Cisco Catalyst 4500,6500 Series Virtual Switching System: An Overview The Cisco Catalyst 4500,6500 Series Virtual Switching System (VSS) allows the merging of two physical Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches together into a single, logically managed entity. Figure 1 graphically represents this concept, where you can manage two Cisco Catalyst 6509 chassis as a single, 18-slot chassis after enabling Cisco Virtual Switching System.

The Virtual Switching System is created by converting two standalone Catalyst 6500 systems to a Virtual Switching System. The conversion is a one-time process that requires a few simple configuration steps and a system reload. Once the individual chassis reload, they are converted into the Virtual Switching System. The Virtual Switching System is supported with specific hardware and software components, including the Supervisor Engine 720-10G and the Supervisor Engine 2T. 1

The Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Virtual Switching System (VSS) allows the clustering of two or more physical chassis together into a single, logical entity. This technology allows for enhancements in all areas of network design, including high availability, scalability, management, and maintenance.
This paper explains the Cisco VSS technology, including its benefits and requirements.

Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Virtual Switching System: An Overview
The Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Virtual Switching System (VSS) allows the merging of two physical Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches together into a single, logically managed entity. Figure 1 graphically represents this concept, where you can manage two Cisco Catalyst 6509 chassis as a single, 18-slot chassis after enabling Cisco Virtual Switching System.
Figure 1.    Cisco Virtual Switching System Physical to Logical Representation

VSS 6500VSS

The Virtual Switching System is created by converting two standalone Catalyst 6500 systems to a Virtual Switching System. The conversion is a one-time process that requires a few simple configuration steps and a system reload. Once the individual chassis reload, they are converted into the Virtual Switching System. The Virtual Switching System is supported with specific hardware and software components, including the Supervisor Engine 720-10G and the Supervisor Engine 2T. 1
Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Virtual Switching System Architecture
The Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Virtual Switching System allows the combination of two switches into a single, logical network entity from the network control plane and management perspectives. It uses

Cisco IOS Stateful Switchover (SSO) technology, as well as Non-Stop Forwarding (NSF) extensions to routing protocols, to provide a single, logical switching and routing entity. To neighboring devices, the Cisco Virtual Switching System appears as a single, logical switch or router. Within the Cisco Virtual Switching System, one chassis is designated as the active virtual switch, and the other is designated as the standby virtual switch. All control plane functions are centrally managed by the active supervisor
engine of the active virtual switch chassis, including:

Management (Simple Network Management Protocol [SNMP], Telnet, Secure Shell [SSH] Protocol, etc.)
●  Layer 2 Protocols (bridge protocol data units [BPDUs], protocol data units [PDUs], Link Aggregation Control
Protocol [LACP], etc.)
●  Layer 3 Protocols (routing protocols, etc.)
●  Software data path
The supervisor engine on the active virtual switch is also responsible for programming the hardware forwarding
information onto all the distributed forwarding cards (DFCs) across the entire Cisco Virtual Switching System. It
also programs the policy feature card (PFC) on the standby virtual switch supervisor engine.

VSL

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