Monday, May 28, 2012

Cisco Nexus 2000 Series Overview : - Fabric Extenders

Cisco Nexus® 2000 Series Fabric Extenders have transformed data center designs and enabled data
center architects to gain new design flexibility while simplifying cabling infrastructure and reducing management complexity. Cisco Nexus fabric extenders act like remote line card which which gives you design flexibility for your data center.

Fabric extender work with parent nexus switches i.e. N7K , N5K & Cisco UCS. Fabric extender work as additional remote line card for parent switches. All fabric extenders connected to parent switches can be configured from parent itself. Logically it act as one device or you can say as chassis device.

To setup these fabric extender & configuration is very easy, below is the configuration for fabric extenders :-

Nexus(config)# feature fex
Nexus(config)# interface e1/10 - 12 (Port Channel for HA)
Nexus(config-if-range)# channel-group 160
Nexus(config-if-range)# no shut
Nexus(config-if-range)# exit

Nexus(config)# interface po160
Nexus(config-if)# switchport mode fex-fabric
Nexus(config-if)# fex associate 160
Nexus(config-if)# no shut
Nexus(config-if)# exit

This is what you need to configure to make your fabric extender to work. Now you can see that you Fabric extender will come online & all fabric extender Ports will be mapped with your port-channel.

For Example : Here we had used Port-Channel 160, Now if you want to configure Fabric Extender ports then you need to configure " interface eth160/1/1"
160 is your port channel , 1/1 is your Fabric Extender port.

Show commands :

@ sh run fex
@ sh fex detail
@ sh int po160 fex-fabric
@ sh module fex
@ sh int status fex 160

Also you can connect this fabric extender to separate Nexus switch & create VPC's for HA. For that you need to config VPC's under port-channel & also you need to configure VPC's domain & peer link between both nexus switches. Below is test scenario for same :

                                     Nexus Fabric Ext
                                          =         =
                                        =              =
                                     =                     =
                                  =                           =
                                N5K-1 ==========  N5K-2
                                          vpc peer link


In this type of design is highly recommend because of redundancy. In next post i will come up with Virtual Port Channel known as VPC's.


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