This blog is about recent updates on the Cisco Nexus 9000 series datacenter switches. This describes my view on the switches and technologies.
Nexus 9000 series is currently Cisco’s flagship on datacenter networking. This is today and still for tomorrow. Mounting the Nexus 9000 switches should be the last physical and configuration work you’ve done in the (future?) datacenter. All upcoming tasks (aka.. Configuring and provisioning the switches) should be done automatically by any automation tool. We have to move from our traditional networking tools to more automating and orchestration tools from today on. Nobody wants or has time to manually configure all these switches like in the old days.
The Nexus 9000 series switches are ready to achieve this with many on-the-box features like automation with PoAP, REST CALL with NXAPI and the “unix-way of management”. This, to program and configure the network / fabric.
It is easy to find design and configuration guides about OTV implementations on Nexus 7000 switches, ASR and CSR routers. But it is much harder to find some information about the requirements for your WAN.
Please read my previous blog posts about OTV here, here, here and here. I’ll cover the OTV device configurations in those posts. But for now, lets start with the DCI WAN for OTV.
First of all, there are two OTV deployment options:
- Unicast mode
- Multicast mode
The WAN requirements in unicast mode are simple: deliver unicast connectivity between the join interfaces of all OTV edge devices. This is just a simple straight forward configuration, I will not cover this in this blog post.
The multicast deployment is a bit harder to configure and requirements are less easier to find. This blog post will cover the required WAN configuration in a multicast deployment. In this particular scenario, we use dark fiber / DWDM connections as DCI to get a more clear understanding about the requirements and configuration.
First, a drawing to get a view on this deployment scenario:
OTV WAN multicast layout
This blog will provide you with the most easiest way to get your OTV multicast deployment up and running. There are some more finetune options available, but that will not be covered in this blog.
Cisco published a configuration guide for connecting a Nexus 2248TP FEX to a Nexus 7000. I’ll explain the configuration process to configure the FEX for basic connectivity.
A FEX is a Nexus 2000 series switch. In a very high level explanation, this switch is a switchport module in a separate 1U chassis, which is configured and controlled from a Nexus 5000/7000. There is 1 drawback: the switchports on the FEX can only be used for host ports. It’s not possible to connect other switches to a FEX port because of the fact that BPDUguard is enabled by default. It’s not possible to disable BPDUguard. Switchports on the FEX can be used for layer 2 and layer 3 connections. For more information about the FEX itself I’ll refer to this link
All configuration is done on the Nexus 7000 with NX-OS 6.0(1). In this scenario, the 2248TP FEX is connected to switchport ethernet 1/1 (10GE port) of the Nexus 7000 with a twinax cable.
First, let’s configure a switchport for the FEX:
switch(config)# int ethernet 1/1
switch(config-if)# switchport mode fex-fabric
Error: feature-set fex is not enabled
Okay, we have to install (!) and enable the fex feature before we can continue
switch(config)# install feature-set fex
switch(config)# feature-set fex
And try again to configure the fex-fabric mode: