Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

How to configure Ether Switch Modules connected to a router



These are the two types of EtherSwitch modules available for Cisco ISRs:

EtherSwitch Service Module (ES)—ES modules have their own processors, switching engines, software and flash memory that run independent of the host router resources. After the ES module is installed in the router, you can console into the ES module from the host router. Then you can create VLANs, configure VLANs, spanning tree, and Virtual Terminal Protocol (VTP) from the ES module.

EtherSwitch Network Module (ESW)—ESW modules are configured by Router IOS. These modules do not run separate software. It is integrated into the host router IOS. You can create VLANs, configure VLANs, spanning tree, and VTP from the host router. The router stores the VLAN database file (vlan.dat) in the flash.

Cisco EtherSwitch Network Modules:

Configuration Example:

You can verify your card installed or module being using "show inventory" command

R1#sh invntory
NAME: "2691 chassis", DESCR: "2691 chassis"
PID:                   , VID: 0.1, SN: XXXXXXXXXXX

NAME: "16 Port 10BaseT/100BaseTX EtherSwitch on Slot 1", DESCR: "16 Port 10BaseT/100BaseTX EtherSwitch"
PID: NM-16ESW=         , VID: 1.0, SN: XXXXXXXXXXX

You can assign an IP address to this type of module using two ways:

1) You can directly assign IP address to the interface.By default these interface are L2 so you need to put "no switchport" command to make it L3.

R1#conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
R1(config)#int fa1/1
R1(config-if)# no switchport
R1(config-if)# ip address

2) You can create VLAN and then assign interface to the interface as shown below.

R1#conf t
Enter configuration commands, one per line.  End with CNTL/Z.
R1(config)#interface Vlan2
R1(config-if)# ip address
R1(config)#vlan 2
R1(config-vlan)#name cisco
R1(config)#int fa1/1
R1(config-if)#switchport mode access
R1(config-if)#switchport access vlan 2


The router stores the VLAN database file (vlan.dat) in the flash.

R1#sh flash:

System CompactFlash directory:
File  Length   Name/status
  1   660      vlan.dat
[724 bytes used, 16776488 available, 16777212 total]
16384K bytes of ATA System CompactFlash (Read/Write)

Also See:

Cisco EtherSwitch Modules for the Integrated Services Routers

Cisco EtherSwitch Modules Comparison

For more information on Cisco DVMRP Interoperability Configuration, refer to Configuring DVMRP Interoperability.Use Cisco Feature Navigator to find the latest information about platform support and Cisco IOS Software image support.

This has me extremely confused. I can configure a VLAN interface with an IP address however, I cannot configure the VLAN database itself. I have attached a screenshot showing the inventory and my attempt to configure the VLAN database. The only VLAN command I have in global config mode is:

vlan accounting <input|output>

Thanks for any ideas.


Edit: Added the output of show version.


I figured it out. For anyone else encountering this problem, I was using GNS3 and while I had inserted the EtherSwitch module, I needed to create an EtherSwitch Router.

  1. Go to Edit->Preferences
  2. Select IOS routers
  3. Click new
  4. Select your IOS image
  5. Click next and on this screen check the box that says "This is an EtherSwitch router"

Finish your configuration normally. Hope this helps someone.

Content for Community-Ad