Cisco built the next-generation data center-class operating system designed for maximum scalability and application availability. The NX-OS data center-class operating system was built with modularity, resiliency, and serviceability at its foundation. NX-OS is based on the industry-proven Cisco Storage Area Network Operating System (SAN-OS) Software and helps ensure continuous availability to set the standard for mission-critical data center environments. The self-healing and highly modular design of Cisco NX-OS enables for operational excellence increasing the service levels and enabling exceptional operational flexibility. Several advantages of Cisco NX-OS include the following:
Unified data center operating system
Robust and rich feature set with a variety of Cisco innovations
Flexibility and scalability
IPv4 and IPv6 IP routing and multicast features
Comprehensive security, availability, serviceability, and management features
One key benefit of NX-OS is the use of VDCs. Cisco Nexus 7000 Series switches can be segmented into virtual devices based on customer requirements. VDCs offer several benefits such as fault isolation, administration plane, separation of data traffic, and enhanced security. This logical separation provides the following benefits:
Administrative and management separation
Change and failure domain isolation from other VDCs
Address, VLAN, VRF, and vPC isolation
Each VDC appears as a unique device and allows for separate Roles-Based Access Control Management (RBAC) per VDC. This enables VDCs to be administered by different administrators while still maintaining a rich, granular RBAC capability. With this functionality, each administrator can define virtual routing and forwarding instance (VRF) names and VLAN IDs independent of those used in other VDCs safely with the knowledge that VDCs maintain their own unique software processes, configuration, and data-plane forwarding tables.
Each VDC also maintains an individual high-availability (HA) policy that defines the action that the system will take when a failure occurs within a VDC. Depending on the hardware configuration of the system, there are various actions that can be performed. In a single supervisor system, the VDC can be shut down, restarted, or the supervisor can be reloaded. In a redundant supervisor configuration, the VDC can be shut down, restarted, or a supervisor switchover can be initiated.
There are components that are shared between VDC(s), which include the following:
A single instance of the kernel which supports all of the processes and VDCs
System fan trays
Hardware SPAN resources
This figure shows the logical segmentation with VDCs on the Nexus 7000. A common use case is horizontal consolidation to reduce the quantity of physical switches at the data center aggregation layer. In this figure, there are two physical Nexus 7000 chassis; the logical VDC layout is also shown.
VDC Configuration Examples
This section shows the required steps to creating a VDC; once the VDC is created, you will assign resources to the VDC. VDC(s) are always created from the default admin VDC context, VDC context 1.
Note: The maximum number of VDCs that can be configured per Nexus 7000 chassis is four; the default VDC (VDC 1) and three additional VDC(s).
This example shows how to configure the VDC core on Egypt:
egypt(config)# vdc core
Note: Creating VDC, one moment please ...
egypt# show vdc
vdc_id vdc_name state mac
1 egypt active 00:1b:54:c2:38:c1 2 core active 00:1b:54:c2:38:c2
egypt# show vdc core detail
vdc id: 2 vdc name: core vdc state: active vdc mac address: 00:1b:54:c2:38:c2 vdc ha policy: RESTART vdc dual-sup ha policy: SWITCHOVER vdc boot Order: 2 vdc create time: Mon Feb 22 13:11:59 2010 vdc reload count: 1 vdc restart count: 0 egypt#
Once the VDC is created, you now have to assign physical interfaces to the VDC. Depending on the Ethernet modules installed in the switch, interface allocation is supported as follows:
In the 32-port 10-Gigabit Ethernet Module (N7K-M132XP-12), interfaces can be allocated on a per port-group basis; there are eight port-groups. For example, port-group 1 are interfaces e1, e3, e5, e7; port-group 2 are interfaces e2, e4, e6, e8.
The 48-port 10/100/1000 I/O Module (N7K-M148GT-11) can be allocated on a per-port basis.
The 48-port 1000BaseX I/O Module (N7K-M148GS-11) can be allocated on a per-port basis.
In a future module, N7K-D132XP-15, the interfaces will be allocated per 2 ports per VDC.
Note: It is not possible to virtualize a physical interface and associate the resulting logical interfaces to different VDCs. A supported configuration is to virtualize a physical interface and associate the resulting logical interfaces with different VRFs or VLANs. By default, all physical ports belong to the default VDC.
This example demonstrates how to allocate interfaces to a VDC:
In addition to interfaces, other physical resources can be allocated to an individual VDC, including IPv4 route memory, IPv6 route memory, port-channels, and SPAN sessions. Configuring these values prevents a single VDC from monopolizing system resources. This example demonstrates how to accomplish this:
egypt(config)# vdc core egypt(config-vdc)# limit-resource port-channel minimum 32 maximum equal-to-min egypt(config-vdc)# limit-resource u4route-mem minimum 32 maximum equal-to-min egypt(config-vdc)# limit-resource u6route-mem minimum 32 maximum equal-to-min egypt(config-vdc)# limit-resource vlan minimum 32 maximum equal-to-min egypt(config-vdc)# limit-resource vrf minimum 32 maximum equal-to-min
Defining the VDC HA policy is also done within the VDC configuration sub-mode. Use the ha-policy command to define the HA policy for a VDC as demonstrated in this example:
The HA policy will depend based upon the use-case or VDC role. For example, if you have dual-supervisor modules in the Nexus 7000 chassis or if the VDC role is development/test, the VDC HA policy may be to just shut down the VDC. If the VDC role is for the core and aggregation use case, then the HA policy would be switchover.