Design & Build

Data Center Solution-Validation Test: Cisco Nexus vPC Interoperability with Brocade VDX Switches

by ‎11-22-2013 02:59 PM - edited ‎08-06-2014 08:27 AM (5,213 Views)

Synopsis: Validation of Cisco Nexus vPC Interoperability with Brocade VDX Switches in two configurations: a Brocade VCS Fabric with vLAG and a Brocade VDX Switch with port-channels.

 

Contents

Preface

Overview

These tests demonstrate the interoperability Cisco Nexus 7000 Switches with NX-OS 6.x configured with the Cisco vPC feature, and Brocade VDX® Switches. VDX switches are commonly deployed in Brocade® VCS® Fabric with high availability and resilient vLAG connections to other switches. Both vLAG and vPC provide switch resiliency in a network so traffic continues to be forwarded when a switch in a vPC cluster of vLAG go off-line.

VDX switches can also be deployed as independent Top-or-Rack switches without being configured into a VCS Fabric using port channels for link resiliency to other switches. The tests include Cisco vPC connected to a VCS Fabric using the vLAG feature and to a single ToR VDX switch using port channels.

 

Brocade’s vLAG and Cisco’s vPC are commonly used in datacenter networks when customers want to integrate the efficiency of Brocade VCS Fabric to collapse the aggregation and access layers into a more efficient Edge without disrupting the Core Cisco switch configuration.

 

Purpose of This Document

The tests show interoperability of Brocade Ethernet fabric switches with Cisco Nexus 7000 switches running vPC, using Network Operating System (NOS) version 3.x. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate the a Brocade VCS can be introduced into an existing network that uses Cisco Nexus 7000 switches at the core layer using vPC and STP.

 

Audience

This document is useful to network design and operations staff who want to add a Brocade VCS Fabric “Edge” to an existing data center network with Cisco Nexus 7000 switches configured with vPC.

 

Objectives

The test cases demonstrate interoperability between a VCS Fabric with the vLAG feature and a pair of Cisco Nexus 7000 switches. The tests include switch, cable and port failure conditions demonstrating network resiliency is achieved when vLAG and vPC are configured in the same network.

 

Test Conclusions

 

Test Configuration #1: VCS Fabric with vLAG

 

The tests successfully demonstrated the interoperability of Cisco vPC with Brocade VCS Fabric vLAG. Below is a summary of results from each test.

 

  1. Burn In Test
    – Test demonstrated expected zero frame loss.
  2. Fault Injections via cable pulls
    – Test demonstrated expected loss of frames in flight.
  3. Fault Injections via port shutdown/enabling
    - Test demonstrated expected loss of some frames.
  4. Catastrophic failure
    - Test demonstrated large amount of massive frame loss and expected network recovery.
  5. Stress Testing the Network
    - Test demonstrated expected loss of some frames.

Test Configuration #2: ToR VDX Switch with Port Channels

 

  1. Burn In Test
    – Test demonstrated expected zero frame loss.
  2. Fault Injections via cable pulls
    – Test demonstrated expected loss of frames in flight.
  3. Fault Injections via port shutdown/enabling
    - Test demonstrated expected loss of some frames.
  4. Catastrophic failure
    - Test demonstrated large amount of massive frame loss and expected network recovery.
  5. Stress Testing the Network
    - Test demonstrated expected loss of some frames.

 

Related Documents

 

References

 

Document History

Date Version Description

2013-04-10 1.0 Initial Version

 

About Brocade

Brocade networking solutions help the world’s leading organizations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. This vision is realized through the Brocade One™ strategy, which is designed to deliver key business benefits such as unmatched simplicity, non-stop networking, application optimization, and investment protection.

 

Innovative Ethernet and storage networking solutions for data center, campus, and service provider networks help reduce complexity and cost while enabling virtualization and cloud computing to increase business agility.

To help ensure a complete solution, Brocade partners with world-class IT companies and provides comprehensive education, support, and professional services offerings.

To learn more, visit (www.brocade.com)

 

Key Contributors

The content in this guide was provided by the following key contributors.

  • Test Engineer: Michael O’Connor, Strategic Solutions Lab

 

Test Plan

At the core, a pair of Nexus 7000 switches is configured in vPC mode. The access layer uses two configurations; test configuration #1 is a VCS Fabric of six VDX switches at the Edge with vLAG connections creating a Core/Edge topology, and test configuration #2 uses individual VDX Switch with port channel connections creating a core/aggregation/access topology with the Cisco Nexus vPC configuration at the core. See the test configuration diagrams below.

 

Test Configuration #1: VCS Fabric with vLAG

The topology used for this test is shown in the figure below.

 

12369_Test_CiscovPCWithVDX_TestConfig#1.jpg

 

Validation Test Configuration #1 with a VCS Fabric Using vLAG

 

A VCS Fabric consisting of six VDX switches is the Edge and connects to a Core of two Nexus 7000 switches. Two switches in the VCS Fabric are configured with ports in a vLAG to the two Nexus switches with ports configured in a vPC. The VCS Fabric acts as a single logically switch even though it includes six physical VDX switches. The two Cisco Nexus switches act as a single logical switch. Any cable, port or switch that are members of the Brocade vLAG or Cisco vPC can go offline, but traffic will continue to be forwarded by the remaining switches.

 

Test Configuration #2: Single VDX Switches

This is the test configuration for VDX port-channels on individual VDX switches.

 

12370_Test_CiscovPCWithVDX_TestConfig#2.jpg

Validation Test Configuration #2 with Single VDX Switches Using Port Channels

 

Four VDX switches are configured as standalone switches representing a core/aggregation/access topology. The Cisco Nexus switches with vPC are the core, two VDX switches are the aggregation layer and two VDX switches are the access layer. Port channels are used to connect the VDX switches at the access and aggregation layers and also to connect to the each of the Nexus core switches.

 

Scope

The tests are designed to validate interoperability in a datacenter type of environment. They also validate connectivity and resilient passing of traffic under several failure conditions. The tests are not designed to establish performance limits.

 

DUT Descriptions – Test Configuration #1

 

Brocade VDX 6720 Switch

The Brocade VDX 6720 Switch is a high-performance, ultra-low latency wire-speed 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) fixed configuration switch. The Brocade VDX 6720 with Brocade VCS Fabric technology is an ideal platform for a variety of Top-of-Rack (ToR) fabric deployments.

 

Brocade VDX 6730 Switch

The Brocade VDX 6730 Switch is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) fixed configuration switch with LAN and native Fibre Channel ports. It supports multiple connectivity options, Ethernet storage connectivity for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI, NAS, and bridges to Fibre Channel Storage Area Networks (SANs).

 

Cisco Nexus 7000/5000 Switches

The Cisco Nexus Series offers a solution for the data center core/aggregation/access network. The Cisco Nexus Series platform runs on Cisco NX-OS Software.

 

DUT Specifications

Identifier

Release

Configuration Options

Notes

VDX-1

NOS 3.0.1aa

VDX 6730 with POD and VCS fabric licenses

 

VDX-2

NOS 3.0.1aa

VDX 6730 with POD and VCS fabric licenses

 

VDX-32

NOS 3.0.1aa

VDX 6720 with POD and VCS fabric licenses

 

VDX-33

NOS 3.0.1aa

VDX 6720 with POD and VCS fabric licenses

 

VDX-38

NOS 3.0.1aa

VDX 6720 with POD and VCS fabric licenses

 

VDX-39

NOS 3.0.1aa

VDX 6720 with POD and VCS fabric licenses

 

Nexus 7009

NX-OS 6.x

Cisco Nexus switch with M and F Series line cards

 

Nexus 7010

NX-OS 6.x

Cisco Nexus switch with M and F Series line cards

 

 

DUT Descriptions – Test Configuration #2

 

Brocade VDX 6720 Switch

The Brocade VDX 6720 Switch is a high-performance, ultra-low latency wire-speed 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) fixed configuration switch. The Brocade VDX 6720 with Brocade VCS Fabric technology is an ideal platform for a variety of Top-of-Rack (ToR) fabric deployments.

 

Brocade VDX 6730 Switch

The Brocade VDX 6730 Switch is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) fixed configuration switch with LAN and native Fibre Channel ports. It supports multiple connectivity options, Ethernet storage connectivity for Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI, NAS, and bridges to Fibre Channel Storage Area Networks (SANs).

 

Cisco Nexus 7000/5000 Switches

The Cisco Nexus Series offers a solution for the data center core/aggregation/access network. The Cisco Nexus Series platform runs on Cisco NX-OS Software.

 

DUT Specifications

 

Identifier

Release

Configuration Options

Notes

VDX-1

NOS 3.0.1aa

VDX 6730 with POD and VCS fabric licenses

 

VDX-2

NOS 3.0.1aa

VDX 6730 with POD and VCS fabric licenses

 

VDX-32

NOS 3.0.1aa

VDX 6720 with POD and VCS fabric licenses

 

VDX-33

NOS 3.0.1aa

VDX 6720 with POD and VCS fabric licenses

 

Nexus 7009

NX-OS 6.x

Cisco Nexus switch with M and F Series line cards

 

Nexus 7010

NX-OS 6.x

Cisco Nexus switch with M and F Series line cards

 

 

Test Equipment

Spirent Test Center 4.15 was used to generate network traffic flows.

Contributors