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Nexus 5K FC and FCoE basic guide

Nexus 5K FC and FCoE basic guide

Introduction: for this installation guide we will use single Nexus with one server connected via FCoE and Storage connected via FC.



1. The FC license should be installed on the Nexus:

Nexus# show license usage

Feature                      Ins  Lic   Status Expiry Date Comments
FCOE_NPV_PKG                  No    -   Unused             -
FM_SERVER_PKG                 No    -   Unused             -
ENTERPRISE_PKG                Yes   -   Unused Never       -
FC_FEATURES_PKG               Yes   -   In use Never       -
VMFEX_FEATURE_PKG             No    -   Unused             -
ENHANCED_LAYER2_PKG           No    -   Unused             -
LAN_BASE_SERVICES_PKG         No    -   Unused             -
LAN_ENTERPRISE_SERVICES_PKG   No    -   Unused             -


2. Enable features fcoe, npiv, fport-channel-trunk, lldp

Nexus(conf)# feature fcoe
Nexus(conf)# feature npiv
Nexus(conf)# feature fport-channel-trunk
Nexus(conf)# lldp

Nexus# show run | i feature
feature fcoe
feature vmfex
logging level feature-mgr 0
feature npiv
feature fport-channel-trunk
feature vrrp
feature tacacs+
feature interface-vlan
feature lacp
feature dhcp
feature vpc
feature lldp
feature fex


3. Create VLAN for FCoE, it will be bound to VSAN. The recommendation is to use same VLAN and VSAN number:

Nexus(conf)# vlan 200
Nexus(conf)# name vsan_vlan
Nexus(conf)# fcoe vsan 200  (binding vlan to vsan)


4. Create virtual Fibre Channel (vfc) interfaces. Each physical Nexus port that will carry FCoE traffic must have a corresponding vfc interface. Generally, you will want to create the vfc interface with the same number as the physical interface

Nexus(conf)# interface vfc 25
Nexus(conf-if)# bind interface ethernet 1/25
Nexus(conf-if)# switchport description Server-A
Nexus(conf-if)# no shutdown


5. At this point the vfc interface is created, but it won’t work yet; you’ll need to place it into a VSAN that is mapped to an FCoE enabled VLAN.

Nexus(conf)# vsan database
Nexus(conf-vsan-db)# vsan 200 interface vfc 25
Nexus(conf-vsan-db)# exit


6. By default VFC interface participating as trunk, so the physical interface should be configured as trunk also 

 Nexus(conf)# interface Ethernet 1/25
Nexus(conf-if)# switchport mode trunk


7. Adding specified VSAN to the VFC interface

Nexus(conf)# interface vfc 25
Nexus(conf-if)# switchport trunk allowed vsan 200


8. Configuring FC interfaces. Regardless the FCoE virtual interfaces, for the FC we should use physical interfaces converted from Ethernet to FC. For this procedure we need to choose one or more interfaces and convert them.

Be aware, converting Eth to FC requesting Nexus reboot.

Nexus(conf)# slot #(slot number)
Nexus(conf-slot)# port (port number) type {ethernet | fc}

Nexus(conf)# slot 1
Nexus(conf-slot)# port 32 type fc
Nexus(conf-slot)# copy running-config startup-config
Nexus(conf-slot)# reload


9. Now we should to prepare zones, zoneset and device aliases for our SAN network. First of all you should get WWNs from server and storage.

Let’s say, we have storage WWN: 10:00:00:00:c9:d0:c0:d7

And server WWN: 22:b0:00:05:9b:77:d4:7f


10. Configure device alias database

Nexus(config)# device-alias database
Nexus(config-device-alias-db)# device-alias name Server-A pwwn 22:b0:00:05:9b:77:d4:7f
Nexus(config-device-alias-db)# device-alias name Storage-A pwwn 10:00:00:00:c9:d0:c0:d7
Nexus(config-device-alias-db)# device-alias commit (you should use device-alias commit each time when changing database)


11. Zone configuration. Each zone should include at least one server and one storage. Always use only one server at each zone, but you still can use some storage WWNs within same zone.

Nexus(config)# zone name Trololo_zone vsan 200
Nexus(config-zone)# member pwwn 10:00:00:00:c9:d0:c0:d7
Nexus(config-zone)# member pwwn 22:b0:00:05:9b:77:d4:7f 


12. Configure zoneset. Each zoneset can include different amount of zones.

Nexus(config)# zoneset name Trololo vsan 200
Nexus(config-zoneset)# member Trololo_zone
Nexus(config-zoneset)# member Another_zone
Nexus(config-zoneset)# exit
Nexus(config)# zoneset activate name Trololo vsan 200


Troubleshooting steps

  • To check which WWNs you see and from which interfaces use command show flogi database
flogi database
Nexus# show flogi database
INTERFACE        VSAN    FCID           PORT NAME               NODE NAME
fc2/1            2002  0x8d00a1  50:0a:09:82:98:63:e4:47 50:0a:09:80:88:63:e4:47
fc2/2            2002  0x8d00a0  50:0a:09:82:88:63:e4:47 50:0a:09:80:88:63:e4:47

You can see WWN, interface and name from aliases database. At the flogi database you will see WWNs from FC and FCoE


  • To check WWNs from FCoE use command  show fcoe database
INTERFACE       FCID            PORT NAME               MAC ADDRESS
vfc3            0x490100        21:00:00:1b:32:0a:e7:b8 00:c0:dd:0e:5f:76


  • Use show vsan command to check configured VSANs
Nexus# show vsan
vsan 1 information
         name:VSAN0001  state:active
         interoperability mode:default
         operational state:down

vsan 2002 information
         name:VSAN2002  state:active
         interoperability mode:default
         operational state:up

vsan 4079:evfp_isolated_vsan

vsan 4094:isolated_vsan


  • Use show zone command to check already configured zones
Nexus# show zone
zone name Trololo1 vsan 2002
  pwwn 21:00:00:24:ff:41:f1:47 [Server-A]
  pwwn 50:0a:09:82:98:63:e4:47 [Storage-A]

zone name Trololo2 vsan 2002
  pwwn 21:00:00:24:ff:41:f1:47 [Server-B]
  pwwn 50:0a:09:82:88:63:e4:47 [Storage-B]


  • Use show zoneset to check configured zonesets and zones attached to zonesets
Nexus# show zoneset
zoneset name SAN_B vsan 2002
  zone name Trololo1 vsan 2002
    pwwn 21:00:00:24:ff:41:f1:47 [Server-A]
    pwwn 50:0a:09:82:98:63:e4:47 [Storage-A]

  zone name Trololo2 vsan 2002
    pwwn 21:00:00:24:ff:41:f1:47 [Server-B]
    pwwn 50:0a:09:82:88:63:e4:47 [Storage-B]


  • Physical  and logical interfaces check:
Nexus# show interface fc 1/32
Nexus# show interface eth 1/25
Nexus# show interface vfc 25


  • SAN hierarchy:


    |- zoneset 1
              |- zone A
              |- zone B
    |- zoneset 2
              |- zone C
              |- zone D
    |- zoneset 3
              |- zone E
              |- zone F














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