Understanding EtherChannel Load Balancing and Redundancy on Catalyst Switches


Fast EtherChannel allows multiple physical Fast Ethernet links to combine into one logical channel. This allows load sharing of traffic among the links in the channel as well as redundancy in the event that one or more links in the channel fail. Fast EtherChannel can be used to interconnect LAN switches, routers, servers, and clients via unshielded twisted pair (UTP) wiring or single-mode and multimode fiber. This document refers to Fast EtherChannel, Gigabit EtherChannel, port channel, channel and port group with a single term, EtherChannel. The information in the document applies to all of these EtherChannels.

This document presents the concept of load balancing and redundancy on Cisco Catalyst switches with the use of the EtherChannel. This document also covers the Port Aggregation Protocol (PAgP) and trunking support over EtherChannel. This document does not cover how to configure EtherChannel on Catalyst switches. Refer to the documents in the Related Information