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Distribution Using Nexus 5548/96 w/ L3 features

Just curious if anyone out there has experience using the 55xx as a L3 Distribution switch or even as a Core.  By enabling the L3 features does it allow you enabled L3 SVI's for VLAN interfaces or are there interfaces on the daughter card that are used for routing instead?  If someone could expand based on their experience it would be appreciated.  Any reference URL's would be helpfull too.


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I don't have any experiance with it, but here are L-3 features when using the this card:

•  Layer 3 interfaces: Routed ports on Cisco Nexus 5500 platform  interfaces, switch virtual interface (SVI), PortChannels, subinterfaces,  and PortChannel subinterfaces for a total of 4096 entries

• Support for up to 8000 prefixes and up to 8000 host entries

• Support for up to 2000 multicast routes

• Support for 1000 VRF entries

• Support for up to 4096 VLANs

• 16-way equal-cost multipathing (ECMP)

• 1664 ingress and 2048 egress access control list (ACL) entries

•  Routing protocols: Static, Routing Information Protocol Version2  (RIPv2), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), Open  Shortest Path First Version 2 (OSPFv2), and Border Gateway Protocol  (BGP)

• Hot-Standby Router Protocol (HSRP) and Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP)

• ACL: Routed ACL with Layer 3 and 4 options to match ingress and egress ACL

•  Multicast: Protocol Independent Multicast Version 2 (PIMv2) sparse  mode, Source Specific Multicast (SSM), Multicast Source Discovery  Protocol (MSDP), Internet Group Management Protocol Versions 2, and 3  (IGMP v2, and v3), and Multicast VLAN Registration (MVR).

• Virtual Route Forwarding (VRF): VRF-lite (IP VPN); VRF-aware unicast; and BGP-, OSPF-, RIP-, and VRF-aware multicast

• Unicast Reverse Path Forwarding (uRFP) with ACL; strict and loose modes

• Jumbo frame support (up to 9216 bytes)

• Support for up to 8 fabric extender on each Nexus 5500 with L3 modules



Thanks for the details, so it looks like SVI is supported so the switch port interfaces can simply be put into the appropriate vlans.

Does anyone else have experience with the product? I would hate to be an early adopter and find that using the 5500 as a distribution or core device blows up in my face

Hall of Fame Expert


Can you provide any specific features you are going to be using in your core?

Most layer-3 features are supported in Nexus 5Ks.  Also, be aware that although VRF is supported, MPLS is not.(only 7Ks support it).  One more thing to know is that although most FEXs work with 5Ks, there are some that don't.



Each L3 card is able to push 160G of traffic (if you do the math, this is not line-rate).

How many routes are we talking about here? N5K has 8K prefixes limits and 16K MAC limits.




The layer 3 engine in the nexus 5k daughter card is the same architecture as the Cisco 3750.

I used nexus 5ks with L3 before and all works fine but I would not recommend as core switch. A small L3 datacenter makes more sense. The roadmaps for Nexus 5ks is geared for data center only and not campus switching.

I rather go with the new Cisco 4500-X if I were you.

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