Dell PowerConnect 6224 – Stacking

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Update: See here for a Dell PowerConnect 6200-series Basic Configuration.

After yesterday’s debacle with connecting a Dell PowerConnect 6224 into a port on a Cisco Catalyst 3560G with a native VLAN, I can fully admit I wasn’t expecting today to go as smoothly as it did.

The final configuration step was enabling stacking between the two Dell PowerConnect 6224′s. The Dell documentation is very scarce on this topic, but basically says “simply plug the stacking cables in, and the switches will be stacked.” The instructions imply that no additional configuration is necessary, simply plug the cables in and the switches are stacked.

Well, this wasn’t the case. After rebooting the switches a couple of times, and checking stack-ports on the master switch, I was able to determine that the Master Switch was able to see it had a stacking module, but the connections were showing a status of “Link Down”:

#show stack-port

Configured  Running
Stack      Stack      Link       Link
Unit    Interface       Mode       Mode       Status     Speed (Gb/s)
—- —————- ———- ———- ———— ————
1    xg1              Stack      Stack      Link Down    12
1    xg2              Stack      Stack      Link Down    12
1    xg3              Ethernet   Ethernet   Link Down    Unknown
1    xg4              Ethernet   Ethernet   Link Down    Unknown

After a little head scratching, I narrowed it down to two possible conclusions: either the stacking module or cable in Switch B was bad, or something was wrong with the configuration of Switch B. I was really hoping for option #2.

Luckily, it was.

After logging into Switch B, I checked the stack port’s:

#show stack-port

Configured  Running
Stack      Stack      Link       Link
Unit    Interface       Mode       Mode       Status     Speed (Gb/s)
—- —————- ———- ———- ———— ————
1    xg1              Ethernet   Ethernet   Link Down    Unknown
1    xg2              Ethernet   Ethernet   Link Down    Unknown
1    xg3              Ethernet   Ethernet   Link Down    Unknown
1    xg4              Ethernet   Ethernet   Link Down    Unknown

For some reason, the stack-ports on Switch B were set up as 10G Ethernet modules. I am not sure why the two switches would initialize differently, this is the only thing that’s really confusing about this scenario.

With a couple quick commands, I reconfigured the stack-ports on Switch B to be set to stacking:

stack-port 1/xg1 stack
stack-port 1/xg2 stack

Saved the running configuration, and after a quick reboot of both switches, presto! The two switches are finally being shown as a stack:

#show switch

Management Standby   Preconfig     Plugged-in    Switch
SW  Status     Status    Model ID      Model ID      Status
— ———- ——— ————- ————- ————-
1   Mgmt Sw                  PCT6224       PCT6224       OK
2   Stack Mbr  Oper Stby PCT6224       PCT6224       OK

Hooray! Stacked switches!


20 Responses to “Dell PowerConnect 6224 – Stacking”

  1. mark on February 18th, 2011 2:08 am

    Very useful!!! thank you for the info, you saved my day!!

  2. chris on May 2nd, 2011 2:38 pm

    Thanks! You’re right about this not being documented with Dell. I fought this for an hour before I found this post. :)

  3. mark on May 5th, 2011 8:53 pm

    One thing I notice is I ran the stack port command in switch A (management switch) intead of B to make it work.

    Is this to do with my SFP cable setting?

  4. mike on May 16th, 2011 12:03 pm

    That shouldn’t have anything to do with it. The primary thing is to verify that both switches are set to stacking, regardless of which switch is the master, else the configuration changes won’t be accepted by the other switch(es).

  5. Doug on June 3rd, 2011 7:24 am

    Mike, thank you so much for posting this article. I am new to the whole “Manipulate Switches through the CLI” discipline. I found this to be very helpful, as my Dell PowerConnect 6224′s did not auto-configure either. (Both were claiming to be ‘master’ switches in the stack). Again, thanks for the post. It really helped me to be successful.

  6. Patrick on June 6th, 2011 5:57 am

    Many thanks!! saved me lots of time

  7. Dusty on June 17th, 2011 10:31 am

    Excellent post! thanks!

  8. Ed Hernandez on July 27th, 2011 8:55 am

    Excellent document! you saved me a day or work.

  9. Shanta Brugliera on December 3rd, 2011 9:30 pm

    I appreciate your work here.

  10. Dan on December 16th, 2011 5:53 am

    I’m about to try stacking a pair of 6200 switches, however I only have one cable. According to the manual it’s considered best-practice to have them arranged in a ring. However if there’s only two units, do I need two cables? Or will one suffice. I say this as I’m short of a cable.

  11. mike on December 19th, 2011 1:47 pm

    @Dan Yes, you should be able to still configure them with only one cable, however you really should have both to help reduce the single point of failure.

  12. Richard on December 28th, 2011 2:53 pm

    How do you save the config?
    We try to stack two switches trough ethernet modules (ethernet port 10GbaseT), because of cable lenght.

    For this we altered the stack config of xg3 and xg4
    “stack-port 1/xg3 stack”

    after that,the show stack-ports shows Stack in the “configured stack” but Ethernet in the “Runnig stack”

    And after a reboot they switch back to Ethernet.

  13. mike on December 30th, 2011 12:14 am

    @Richard Initially you will need to make the change in both switches to get stacking to works. If you only set the master switch to stack, it won’t matter. The change has to be made in both switches.

    To save the running configuration from the CLI, use the following command:

    copy running-config startup-config

  14. mike on December 30th, 2011 12:32 am

    @Richard Also, keep in mind per the documentation:

    “Each PowerConnect switch has two bays that can be customized to support a stacking or an uplink configuration. Bay 1 can contain a stacking, CX-4 or SFP+ module. Bay 2 can contain a CX-4, SFP+, or 10GBase-T module. Stacking is supported only on CX-4 or stacking modules in either bay and must be enabled by the operator.”

  15. Rob on February 22nd, 2012 9:02 am

    Great post! I messed with my 6248′s for an hour before finally diverting from Dell’s documentation. As I was preparing to use your instructions, I reset both switches to factory defaults (I had tried too many things at that point). I let them both skip the initial setup wizard. And voila!…They came up in a stack configuration! Unfortunately, they were in the wrong order, so I reset them both again, this time booting the master, actually doing the inital setup to give the master an IP and such. Brought the second one up and bang, stack done. I wonder if factory resetting with the stack module in the switches caused them to pick up properly… Either way, your post got me there! Thanks!

  16. mike on February 27th, 2012 4:49 pm

    @Rob You’re welcome! I’m glad you found it useful

  17. Henry on July 6th, 2012 3:02 am

    I have 2 6224 switches to stack up. I have follow the above method. But is happened that the switches are still not able to stack together. The running stack mode is always in Ethernet and the Configured Stack mode is always change back to Ethernet eventhough I change it manually and copy run start. Any other solution to this? TQ

    Configured Running
    Stack Stack Link Link
    Unit Interface Mode Mode Status Speed (Gb/s)
    —- —————- ———- ———- ———— ————
    1 xg1 Stack Ethernet Link Down Unknown
    1 xg2 Stack Ethernet Link Up 10
    1 xg3 Ethernet Ethernet Link Down Unknown
    1 xg4 Ethernet Ethernet Link Down Unknown

  18. mike on July 17th, 2012 2:37 pm

    @Henry Have you tried manually running:

    stack-port 1/xg1 stack
    stack-port 1/xg1 stack
    copy running-config startup-config
    show stack-port

    If you are still having problems, confirm both switches are on the same firmware. You may want to consider updating the firmware if you’re on an old version.

  19. Kevin on December 7th, 2012 9:46 am


    Thanks for this post! Once I changed the xg1 and xg2 ports to run in stacking mode, the stack came online. Dell’s documentation is definitely lacking when it comes to complete (or even correct) information for configuring a stack.

    I am also having an issue with upgrading the firmware on a stack member. My master switch is running version, and the standby is running I would like to use the automatic firmware synchronization that’s described in Dell’s documentation, but the command they say to use (boot auto-copy-sw) doesn’t seem to be valid. Have you had any success with firmware synchronization? Should I just give up and update the standby switch’s firmware manually?

    Thanks again!

  20. Dell PowerConnect 6224 – Link Aggregation | Herson.Biz on November 13th, 2013 2:23 pm

    [...] this page, first select your unit if you have stacking enabled. Then, in the “LAG” column, click on each of the ports you want to assign to a LAG. Each click [...]

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