N-Series 6.5 Mixed Stacking Technical Update

N-Series 6.5 Mixed Stacking Technical Update


With the introduction of the Dell networking operating system 6.5.x.x for N-series campus switching platforms, mixed stacking is supported between:

  • N2000 and N2128PX-ON
  • N3000 and N3132PX-ON
  • N3000 and N3000E-ON

Firmware Revision:

Firmware revisions for mixed stacking are:

  • Advanced Lite (N3000 & N3132PX-ON) or (N3000 & N3000E-ON)
    • L3 routing, stacks to eight units, VLANS: 1024, no MMRP/MVRP
    • Includes BGP
    • N3000N3100AdvLitev6.5.1.x.itb N3000/N3048EP-ON/N3132PX-ON mixed stack
    • N3000AdvLitev6.5.1.x.stk Dauntless L3 only stack (including N3048EP-ON)
  • Standard (N2000 & N2128PX-ON)
    • L2 switching/scale limited routing, stacks to twelve units
    • N2000N2100Stdv6.5.1.x.itb N2000/N2100 mixed stack
    • N2100Stdv6.5.1.x.stk Bristol L2 only stack
    • N2000Stdv6.5.1.x.stk Dauntless N2000 only stack
  • Advanced (N3132PX-ON & N3000E-ON)
    • Full scale routing, stacks to twelve units, VLANs: 4093, MMRP/MVRP
    • Includes BGP
    • N3000N3100Advv6.5.1.x.itb N3000E/N3132PX-ON mixed stack
    • N3100Advv6.5.1.x.stk N3132PX-ON L3 only stack
    • N3000Advv6.5.1.x.stk N3000E only stack

Examples of mixed stacking files for the N3000/N3132PX-ON series:

  • N3100AdvLitev6.5.1.1.stk
  • N3100Advv6.5.1.31.stk
  • N3000AdvLitev6.5.1.1.stk
  • N3000Advv6.5.1.31.stk
  • N3000N3100AdvLitev6.5.1.1.itb
  • N3000N3100Advv6.5.1.31.itb

The .stk files are not new to the Dell networking campus line of products, the new file format .itb is what will be used to support both N3000/N3132PX-ON switches in a mixed stack. This .itb file contains file images for both switches. All future mixed stacking firmware updates will use this file format.


Note: Setting up a mixed stacking environment is a multi-step process with some known limitations for the N3000/N3132PX-ON and N3000/N3000E-ON series switches
- Stack size must be reduced from the maximum of 12 switches to 8
- Only 1024 active VLANs in a configuration range of 1-4093

Mixed stacking update procedure:

  1. Backup your switch configuration.
  2. N3000 series switches will first utilize the N3000AdvLitev6.5.1.x.stk file.
    • Copy and active the .stk file to the N3000 series switches.
      • Update boot code and CPLD if below current revisions and reload the switches.
      • All switches in the stack should now show an active 6.5.1.x image in the "show version" command.
    • Finally copy and activate the N3000N3132PX-ONAdvLitev6.5.1.x.itb image to the N3000 series switches.
  3. N3132PX-ON series switches will follow the same procedure as the N3000 switches.
  4. Once both sets of switches are at 6.5.1.x, power OFF both series switches. Plug in mini-SAS stacking cables. Power ON both series of switches.
  5. Verify connectivity with "show switch" and "show version" commands via the stack master.
Note: Refer to the Upgrading Dell EMC Networking N3000 Series Switches to 6.5.1.x Firmware document included in the N3000 Series, Firmware Version 6.5.1.x zip file available here.

Quick Tips content is self-published by the Dell Support Professionals who resolve issues daily. In order to achieve a speedy publication, Quick Tips may represent only partial solutions or work-arounds that are still in development or pending further proof of successfully resolving an issue. As such Quick Tips have not been reviewed, validated or approved by Dell and should be used with appropriate caution. Dell shall not be liable for any loss, including but not limited to loss of data, loss of profit or loss of revenue, which customers may incur by following any procedure or advice set out in the Quick Tips.

Article ID: SLN309102

Last Date Modified: 09/14/2019 09:44 AM

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