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Configure Cisco Switches for Easy Server Deployments

Jun 18, 2009, 03:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Charlie Schluting)

"A switch port can be placed in "dynamic" mode, which means the switch can dynamically change the VLAN membership of the port. This works via VLAN Management Policy Server (VMPS), which defines which hosts, by MAC address, are associated with which VLANs. When a switch port comes up, the switch checks with the VMPS to determine what VLAN to put the port in, then does it. The concept is quite simple and attractive because you can manage all MAC-to-VLAN-number mapping in a central place.

"There are, of course, a few minor issues to contend with. Like most Cisco features, you need to know how they work to avoid being surprised. The main issue is that when connecting a new host to the network, its MAC address must be defined in the VMPS, or else it will not get network access. Before deploying a new server, the server admins generally configure network install services (jumpstart, kickstart) that require MAC address association with the host name. Wrapping the addition of the MAC address procedure in a script to get the data in both places at once shouldn't be too difficult."

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