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Part 1: Fabric Path configuration on Cisco Nexus Switch

Fabric Path configuration on Cisco Nexus Switch

Cisco Fabric Path is an innovative layer two routing idea that brings the scalability and stability of routing to Cisco NX-OS Software. As a result, data centers no longer need to segment their networks, enabling massive scalability due to little traffic being forwarded through spanning trees.

Through Fabric Path, Cisco introduces a new Layer 2 data plane that includes routable sources and destinations on the header of frames entering the fabric. A frame's source address and the destination address are determined by the switch on which it is received. Upon reaching the remote switch, the frame is decapsulated and sent in its original Ethernet format.

Fig 1.1- Fabricpath 

Step 1: Install and activate the feature-set of fabric path.

NEXUS 5K Fabric Path configuration : Install and activate the fabric path first and then enable it on the interfaces on Cisco Nexus 5K and 7K devices as shown below.

NEXUS 5K Fabric Path configuration

NDNA_N5K1#config t
NDNA_N5K1(config)#install feature-set fabricpath
NDNA_N5K1(config)#feature-set fabricpath
NDNA_N5K1(config)#end
NDNA_N5K1#
NDNA_57K1#config t
NDNA_N5K1(config)#interface eth1/1-3, eth2/1-3
NDNA_N5K1(config-if-range)#switchport
NDNA_N5K1(config-if-range)#switchport mode fabricpath
NDNA_N5K1(config-if-range)#end

Check for the configuration

NDNA_N5K1#show feature-set | include Fabricpath
fabricpath      2    enabled

NDNA_N5K1#show interface status | inc 1/1|1/2|1/3
Eth1/1   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T
Eth1/2   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T
Eth1/3   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T

As these are come into pairs, so config the same configuration to other Nexus 5K device.

NDNA_N5K2#config t
NDNA_N5K2(config)#install feature-set fabricpath
NDNA_N5K2(config)#feature-set fabricpath
NDNA_N5K2(config)#end
NDNA_N5K2#
NDNA_57K2#config t
NDNA_N5K2(config)#interface eth1/1-3, eth2/1-3
NDNA_N5K2(config-if-range)#switchport
NDNA_N5K2(config-if-range)#switchport mode fabricpath
NDNA_N5K2(config-if-range)#end

Check for the configuration

NDNA_N5K2#show feature-set | include Fabricpath
fabricpath      2    enabled

NDNA_N5K2#show interface status | inc 1/1|1/2|1/3
Eth1/1   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T
Eth1/2   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T
Eth1/3   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T

NEXUS 7K Fabric Path configuration

Enable fabricpath on Interfaces of all four nexus switches. Note that Only F Series Module Ports can be used for enabling fabricpath.

NDNA_N7K1#config t
NDNA_N7K1(config)#install feature-set fabricpath
NDNA_N7K1(config)#feature-set fabricpath
NDNA_N7K1(config)#end
NDNA_N7K1#
NDNA_N7K1#config t
NDNA_N7K1(config)#interface eth1/1-3, eth2/1-3
NDNA_N7K1(config-if-range)#switchport
NDNA_N7K1(config-if-range)#switchport mode fabricpath
NDNA_N7K1(config-if-range)#end

Check for the configuration

NDNA_N7K1#show feature-set | include Fabricpath
fabricpath      2    enabled

NDNA_N7K1#show interface status | inc 1/1|1/2|1/3
Eth1/1   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T
Eth1/2   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T
Eth1/3   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T

As these are come into pairs, so config the same configuration to other Nexus 7K device.

NDNA_N7K2#config t
NDNA_N7K2(config)#install feature-set fabricpath
NDNA_N7K2(config)#feature-set fabricpath
NDNA_N7K2(config)#end
NDNA_N7K2#
NDNA_N7K2#config t
NDNA_N7K2(config)#interface eth1/1-3, eth2/1-3
NDNA_N7K2(config-if-range)#switchport
NDNA_N7K2(config-if-range)#switchport mode fabricpath
NDNA_N7K2(config-if-range)#end

Check for the configuration

NDNA_N7K2#show feature-set | include Fabricpath
fabricpath      2    enabled

NDNA_N7K2#show interface status | inc 1/1|1/2|1/3
Eth1/1   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T
Eth1/2   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T
Eth1/3   --    connected f-path  full  a-100  1000base-T

Now lets move the VLAN to the Fabricpath on both Nexus 5K and Nexus 7K devices as shown below. We are using VLAN 10 and adding into fabricpath as shown below on Nexus 5K pair devices and Nexus 7K pair devices after that.

NDNA_N5K1#
NDNA_N5K1#config t
NDNA_N5K1(config)#vlan 10
NDNA_N5K1(config-vlan)#name NDNA_network
NDNA_N5K1(config-vlan)#mode fabricpath
NDNA_N5K1(config-vlan)#end

NDNA_N5K2#
NDNA_N5K2#config t
NDNA_N5K2(config)#vlan 10
NDNA_N5K2(config-vlan)#name NDNA_network
NDNA_N5K2(config-vlan)#mode fabricpath
NDNA_N5K2(config-vlan)#end

NDNA_N7K1#
NDNA_N7K1#config t
NDNA_N7K1(config)#vlan 10
NDNA_N7K1(config-vlan)#name NDNA_network
NDNA_N7K1(config-vlan)#mode fabricpath
NDNA_N7K1(config-vlan)#end

NDNA_N7K2#
NDNA_N7K2#config t
NDNA_N7K2(config)#vlan 10
NDNA_N7K2(config-vlan)#name NDNA_network
NDNA_N7K2(config-vlan)#mode fabricpath
NDNA_N7K2(config-vlan)#end

Now as we configured the fabricpath, first we will check the spanning tree on all these devices as shown below

NDNA_N5K1#show spanning-tree vlan 10
spanning tree instance(s) for vlan does not exist

NDNA_N5K2#show spanning-tree vlan 10
spanning tree instance(s) for vlan does not exist

NDNA_N7K1#show spanning-tree vlan 10
spanning tree instance(s) for vlan does not exist

NDNA_N7K2#show spanning-tree vlan 10
spanning tree instance(s) for vlan does not exist

Now check what is configured then on Nexus 5k and 7k devices which are in pair

NDNA_N5K1#show vlan id 10
VLAN    Type     Vlan-mode
10          enet      FABRICPATH

NDNA_N5K2#show vlan id 10
VLAN    Type     Vlan-mode
10          enet      FABRICPATH

NDNA_N7K1#show vlan id 10
VLAN    Type     Vlan-mode
10          enet      FABRICPATH

NDNA_N7K2#show vlan id 10
VLAN    Type     Vlan-mode
10          enet      FABRICPATH

Now will come up with further configuration on Fabricpath in our next article. Stay connected and tuned 

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