Prepare an IRF member ID assignment scheme. An IRF fabric uses member IDs to uniquely identify and
manage its members, and you must assign each IRF member switch a unique member ID.
Planning IRF topology and connections
You can create an IRF fabric in daisy chain topology, or more reliably, ring topology. In ring topology,
the failure of one IRF link does not cause the IRF fabric to split as in daisy chain topology. Rather, the IRF
fabric changes to a daisy chain topology without interrupting network services.
You connect the IRF member switches through IRF ports. An IRF port is a logical interface for the internal
connection between IRF member switches. Each IRF member switch has two IRF ports: IRF-port 1 and
IRF-port 2. To use an IRF port, you must bind physical ports to it.
When connecting two neighboring IRF member switches, you must connect the physical ports of IRF-port
1 on one switch to the physical ports of IRF-port 2 on the other switch.
You can bind several physical ports to an IRF port to create an aggregate IRF link for increased
bandwidth and availability.
• Figure 32
The IRF port connections in the two figures are for illustration only, and more connection methods are
Figure 32 IRF fabric in daisy chain topology
Figure 33 IRF fabric in ring topology
show the topologies of an IRF fabric made up of three 5500 EI or 5500 SI