Advantages of EtherChannel

In this article we will discuss Advantages of EtherChannel, will make brief discussion on Advantages of EtherChannel, In last article we discuss about Introduction to Link Aggregation.

EtherChannel technology was originally developed by Cisco as a LAN switch-to-switch technique of grouping several Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet ports into one logical channel.

When an EtherChannel is configured, the resulting virtual interface is called a port channel. The physical interfaces are bundled together into a port channel interface.

EtherChannel technology has many advantages:

  • Most configuration tasks can be done on the EtherChannel interface instead of on each individual port, ensuring configuration consistency throughout the links.
  • EtherChannel relies on existing switch ports. There is no need to upgrade the link to a faster and more expensive connection to have more bandwidth.
  • Load balancing takes place between links that are part of the same EtherChannel. Depending on the hardware platform, one or more load-balancing methods can be implemented. These methods include source MAC to destination MAC load balancing, or source IP to destination IP load balancing, across the physical links.
  • EtherChannel creates an aggregation that is seen as one logical link. When several EtherChannel bundles exist between two switches, STP may block one of the bundles to prevent switching loops. When STP blocks one of the redundant links, it blocks the entire EtherChannel. This blocks all the ports belonging to that EtherChannel link. Where there is only one EtherChannel link, all physical links in the EtherChannel are active because STP sees only one (logical) link.
  • EtherChannel provides redundancy because the overall link is seen as one logical connection. Additionally, the loss of one physical link within the channel does not create a change in the topology; therefore a spanning tree recalculation is not required. Assuming at least one physical link is present; the EtherChannel remains functional, even if its overall throughput decreases because of a lost link within the EtherChannel.

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