Integrating Cisco MDS 9124 switches with Nexus 5500s


I wanted to take a short minute and document the addition of a few Cisco MDS 9124s to our test lab at work. The purpose of the addition in the test lab is just to show the functioning and capabilities of the devices to work together. See my previous post on configuring native FC over a Nexus 5548 and 5596. The FC-specific portions of the MDS config are very similar to the Nexus line. Here’s what the middle state looks like. I haven’t taken the time to move the NetApp FC links to the MDS switches yet (or the UCS FC links instead), but the port provisioning process will be similar to those already documented in this post and the Nexus post. The Visio of what’s configured is below followed by my MDS configuration notes.

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How to configure SPAN on a Nexus 55xx


I’ve recently needed to configure SPAN a couple times in the lab at work to troubleshoot somespan issues – or at least to see what I could see.  It wasn’t exactly glamorous work, but somebody had to do it.  Now, I had to look it up the first time because it had probably been a good year since I’d done it.  The document I used is here.  Well, the second time I needed to configure SPAN was shortly after the first.  I was annoyed that I had to look at the same document and skip over all the paragraphs to get to the commands, then sort out the FC ports and other commands I didn’t need.  So for my benefit, and perhaps yours, here’s my short and sweet version of how to configure SPAN on a Nexus 5k.

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Yet another way to create peer keepalive link between Nexus 5ks


During two previous implementations, I’ve configured the peer keepalive between two Nexus 5020s as most folks have seen it done: each mgmt0 interface connected to a management network, passing both day-to-day management traffic and peer keepalive traffic. Something like this:


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Configuring Cisco Nexus 5020 and 2224 Fabric Extenders for Virtual Port Channeling (vPC)


So it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. We’ve finally finished our data center site surveys and we’re very close to starting the implementation phase. In preparation for implementation, we’ve begun testing configurations, playing with possibilities, and generally, seeing what the given hardware can do. We don’t exactly know what the architecture design team will give us to implement, but our pre-work will let us get a feel for the kinds of things we’ll be doing. For instance, we know we’ll be using virtual port channels and fabric extenders, so we’ve configured these on several of our Nexus switches. We’ll probably blow away the configs when we officially start anyways, but again, this gives us a chance to get our hands on the equipment and practice some of the same configs we’ll be using later.

The Design

Our test design will have two 5020s with 40 10GbE SFP ports plus a 6 port 10GbE SFP daughter card and two 2224 fabric extenders, FEXs, with 24 1GbEcopper ports. It will not be a cross connected FEX design because we will use servers with dual-homed 10GbE converged network adapters, CNAs, which we plan on cross connecting. Cisco does not support a design where the FEXs and the servers are both cross connected. Our test design looks the diagram below. Note that the diagram shows the server connected to each FEX via copper ports. We’ll actually be connecting each server via CNA twinax cables to the 10 Gb ports on the 5020s.

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