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David Goldsmith

Nexus 5010, vPC and Dell M1000e Blade Chassis with embedded switches

I think I have a handle on how to setup vPC on the Nexus 5010 and attached Nexus 2148T FEXs so that any server directly attached to them can have a vPC setup across the two switches/FEXs. But what about the blade servers in the blade chassis behind the blade switches?  We have two Dell PowerConnect M6220 1Gbps switches in IO fabric A (slots A1 and A2 - not stacked) and two Dell PowerConnect M8024 10Gbps switches in IO fabric B (slots B1 and B2 - not stackable).  Some of the blade servers are used with vSphere ESXi 4 for virtualization and some are physical servers with CentOS 5.x installed.

The M6220 switches each have 4 1Gbps ports used for uplinks (16 internal ports for the blades) and the M8024 each have 4 10Gbps ports used for uplinks (16 internal ports for the blades).  The M6220 uplinks will connect to FEX ports and the M8024 uplinks will connect to Nexus 5010 switch ports.  I believe I can setup vPC for the uplink ports but how will that bubble down further to the individual severs attached to the blade switches?

I've reviewed many of the config guides, reference guides, install guides, etc and didn't find any examples that would seem to be applicable to blades with their own IO switches.  If I had Ethernet pass-through modules in the IO fabrics instead, theoretically this would be a straightforward setup.

David Goldsmith

Adam Casella

Hey Dave,

Since VPC will look like  a  normal port-channel to the Dell switches,there is no way to "pass" the lacp PDU's (used for VPC) through the switch to the servers to the internal ports.  This would not work correctly, since LACP PDU's are layer 2 and designed to be "point-to-point", as in they will not be forwarded by the switch.

A VPC can be setup to the blade swtiches, but not to the blade servers.

Also since it sounds like redundancy is already built into the blade chassis (I would imagine each server has a connection/NIC going to at least two switches), I am not sure what you would get out of trying to VPC to the blade servers. 

Either what what you are proposing is not possible.