Port Aggregation Protocol or PAgP is an EtherChannel technology that is a Cisco proprietary protocol. It is a form of logical aggregation of Cisco Ethernet switch ports, and it enables data/traffic load balancing. PAgP EtherChannel can combine a maximum of 8 physical links into a single virtual link. We also have an IEEE open standard, Link Aggregation Control Protocol, LACP.
PAgP Initial Configuration Check
Since PAgP is a Cisco proprietary protocol, we need to make sure that all of the interfaces have the same following configurations in our Cisco network devices:
- Speed and Duplex
- Operational State (all Access or all Trunking)
- Access VLAN on access interfaces
- Native VLAN and Allowed VLANs on trunk interfaces
- STP interface settings
The 2 Port Aggregation Protocol Configuration Modes
There are two Cisco EtherChannel Port Aggregation Protocol modes, which we can implement as a part of the port configuration:
Auto mode– interface can respond to PAgP packet negotiation but will never start one on its own.
Desirable mode– interface actively attempts a negotiating state for PAgP packet negotiation.
Cisco PAgP Mode Combinations
Here are the combinations of the different PAgP modes (auto mode and desirable mode) and if link aggregation will work or not between the Cisco devices:
How to Configure Port Aggregation Protocol?
We’ll use the network topology below for our example. We have two Cisco switches to be configured with PAgP.
Switch 1 Configuration:
Switch 1#conf t Switch 1(config)#interface range fa0/1 - 2 Switch 1(config-if-range)#speed 100 Switch 1(config-if-range)#duplex full Switch 1(config-if-range)#switchport mode trunk Switch 1(config-if-range)#channel-group 1 mode desirable Switch 1(config-if-range)#end
Switch 2 Configuration:
Switch 2#conf t Switch 2(config)#interface range fa0/1 - 2 Switch 2(config-if-range)#speed 100 Switch 2(config-if-range)#duplex full Switch 2(config-if-range)#switchport mode trunk Switch 2(config-if-range)#channel-group 1 mode auto Switch 2(config-if-range)#end
Switch logs showing Port-Channel1 comes up:
%LINK-5-CHANGED: Interface Port-channel1, changed state to up %LINEPROTO-5-UPDOWN: Line protocol on Interface Port-channel1, changed state to up
Port Aggregation Protocol Verification
We can issue the ‘show etherchannel <channel-group number> port-channel’ command to check if the Port-channel is active or not. We can verify which of the two protocols is used, PAgP or LACP, and the interfaces participating in the aggregation.
Switch1#show etherchannel 1 port-channel Port-channels in the group: --------------------------- Port-channel: Po1 ------------ Age of the Port-channel = 0d:00h:04m:07s Logical slot/port = 16/0 Number of ports = 2 GC = 0x00010001 HotStandBy port = null Port state = Port-channel Ag-Inuse Protocol = PAgP Port security = Disabled Ports in the Port-channel: Index Load Port EC state No of bits ------+------+------+------------------+----------- 0 00 Fa0/1 Automatic-Sl 0 0 00 Fa0/2 Automatic-Sl 0 Time since last port bundled: 0d:00h:00m:26s Fa0/2
Next, ‘show etherchannel summary’ will show us a quick overview of the EtherChannel status.
Switch 1#show etherchannel summary Flags: D - down P - bundled in port-channel I - stand-alone s - suspended H - Hot-standby (LACP only) R - Layer3 S - Layer2 U - in use N - not in use, no aggregation f - failed to allocate aggregator M - not in use, minimum links not met m - not in use, port not aggregated due to minimum links not met u - unsuitable for bundling w - waiting to be aggregated d - default port A - formed by Auto LAG Number of channel-groups in use: 1 Number of aggregators: 1 Group Port-channel Protocol Ports ------+-------------+-----------+----------------------------------------------- 1 Po1(SU) PAgP Fa0/1(P) Fa0/2(P)
Lastly, we can issue the ‘show interfaces fa0/1 etherchannel’ command. We can see both local and neighbor interface information, and also the Cisco PAgP mode used.
Switch 1#show interfaces fa0/1 etherchannel Port state = Up Mstr In-Bndl Channel group = 1 Mode = Automatic-Sl Gcchange = 0 Port-channel = Po1 GC = 0x00010001 Pseudo port-channel = Po1 Port index = 0 Load = 0x00 Protocol = PAgP Flags: S - Device is sending Slow hello. C - Device is in Consistent state. A - Device is in Auto mode. P - Device learns on physical port. d - PAgP is down. Timers: H - Hello timer is running. Q - Quit timer is running. S - Switching timer is running. I - Interface timer is running. Local information: Hello Partner PAgP Learning Group Port Flags State Timers Interval Count Priority Method Ifindex Fa0/1 SAC U6/S7 HQ 30s 1 128 Any 10 Partner's information: Partner Partner Partner Partner Group Port Name Device ID Port Age Flags Cap. Fa0/1 Switch2 5000.0002.8000 Fa0/1 18s SC 10001 Age of the port in the current state: 0d:00h:06m:54s
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