Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Cisco Nexus data centre network and enabling MPLS

We're just completed a tender for a new data centre network and select a design based on one of Cisco's standard models consisting of core Nexus 7010s in two physically diverse data centre locations, with each row of racks consisting of a pair of Nexus 56128Ps as the EoR switches and various Nexus 2k models as the ToR units.

Despite having plenty of experience with IOS (and, to a lesser extent, IOS XE), we've never had Nexus equipment before, in particular not used NX-OS.  As such, there's a bit of a learning curve to get things up and running.

This post (and probably some following ones) is what we've encountered in the setup of the Nexus equipment and will likely cover VDCs on the 7010s, vPC (Virtual Port-Channel) on the 7010s and 56128Ps and the FEXs, as well as some NX-OS differences.


Despite getting some licence sheets with PAKs (Product Activation Keys) for the MPLS feature set, these appear to have already been installed.  However, the feature isn't activated by default and requires some work to do so.

First, in the admin VDC, the feature set must be installed:

n7k(config)# install feature-set mpls

Then, in the service VDCs (our backbone routing-only one is "cudn", the Cambridge University Data Network), the feature-set must be activated, along with the desired individual features:

n7k-cudn(config)# feature-set mpls
n7k-cudn(config)# feature mpls ldp
n7k-cudn(config)# feature mpls l3vpn

The MPLS features then become available in that VDC.

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