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Switch port Analyzer (SPAN) is an efficient, high performance traffic monitoring system. It duplicated network traffic to one or more monitor interfaces as it transverse the switch. SPAN is used for troubleshooting connectivity issues and calculating network utilization and performance, among many others. There are three types of SPANs supported on Cisco products, which are illustrated in below diagram.


Types of SPAN:








Local SPAN: Mirrors traffic from one or more interface on the switch to one or more interfaces on the same switch.



Remote SPAN (RSPAN): An extension of SPAN called remote SPAN or RSPAN. RSPAN allows you to monitor traffic from source ports distributed over multiple switches, which means that you can centralize your network capture devices. RSPAN works by mirroring the traffic from the source ports of an RSPAN session onto a VLAN that is dedicated for the RSPAN session. This VLAN is then trunked to other switches, allowing the RSPAN session traffic to be transported across multiple switches. On the switch that contains the destination port for the session, traffic from the RSPAN session VLAN is simply mirrored out the destination port.


Encapsulated remote SPAN (ERSPAN): encapsulated Remote SPAN (ERSPAN), as the name says, brings generic routing encapsulation (GRE) for all captured traffic and allows it to be extended across Layer 3 domains.

ERSPAN is a Cisco proprietary feature and is available only to Catalyst 6500, 7600, Nexus, and ASR 1000 platforms to date. The ASR 1000 supports ERSPAN source (monitoring) only on Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, and port-channel interfaces.


Configuration Example:


Configuring Local SPAN: Local SPAN configures using “monitor session” command specifying source and destination on the same switch.


Switch1# configure terminal

Switch1(config)# monitor session 1 source interface fastEthernet0/2

Switch1(config)# monitor session 1 destination interface fastEthernet0/24



Local SPAN configuration syntax on Cisco IOS release 12.2(33)SXH and beyond as shown below.


monitor session 1 type local

source int fa0/2

destination int fa0/24


Configuring RSPAN:


Step1: In order to configure RSPAN you need to have an RSPAN VLAN, those VLANs have special properties and can’t be assigned to any access ports. To create a VLAN for RSPAN on Cisco IOS, you must create the VLAN via the config-vlan configuration mode, as opposed to using the older VLAN database configuration mode. During the process of defining VLAN parameters, you must specify that the new VLAN is an RSPAN VLAN by configuring the remote-span VLAN configuration command.


Switch1# configure terminal

Switch1(config)# vlan 200

Switch1(config-vlan)# remote-span

Switch1(config-vlan)# end

Switch1# show vlan remote-span





Switch2# configure terminal

Switch2(config)# vlan 200

Switch2(config-vlan)# remote-span

Switch2(config-vlan)# end

Switch2# show vlan remote-span





Step2: Then configure the RSPAN on Source switch: Unlike SPAN, where the source and destination ports exist on the same switch, the source and destination ports for an RSPAN session reside on different switches. This requires a separate RSPAN source session to be configured, as well as a separate RSPAN destination session to be configured.


Switch1# configure terminal

Switch1(config)# monitor session 1 source interface fastEthernet0/2 rx

Switch1(config)# monitor session 1 destination remote vlan 200

reflector-port fastEthernet0/24

Switch1(config)# exit


Switch1# show monitor

Session 1


Type             : Remote Source Session

Source Ports     :

   Rx           : Fa0/2

Reflector Port   : Fa0/24

Dest RSPAN VLAN   : 200


Step3: Configure the RSPAN on destination switch:


Switch2# configure terminal

Switch2(config)# monitor session 1 source remote vlan 200

Switch2(config)# monitor session 1 destination interface fastEthernet0/3

Switch2(config)# exit


The RSPAN VLAN should be allowed in ALL trunks between the involved switches (Source and Destination switches in this case); if you have enabled "pruning" in your network, remove the RSPAN VLAN from the pruning, with the command: “switchport trunk pruning vlan remove <RSPAN VLAN ID>” under the interface configure as trunk.


Configuring ERSPAN:


In this example we will capture received traffic on the ASR 1002 (GigabitEthernet0/1/0) and send to Catalyst 6509 Gig2/2/1. This traffic will simply be captured, encapsulated in GRE by ASR 1002 natively by the QFP chipset and routed over to the Catalyst 6509. A sniffing station on the 6500 attached to GE2/2/1 will see the complete Ethernet frame (L2 to L7) information.


Configuring source interface, direction of traffic, and ERSPAN session ID on the ASR 1002.


ASR1002(config)# monitor session 1 type erspan-source

ASR1002(config-mon-erspan-src)# source interface gig0/1/0 rx

ASR1002(config-mon-erspan-src)# no shutdown

ASR1002(config-mon-erspan-src)# destination

ASR1002(config-mon-erspan-src-dst)# erspan-id 101

ASR1002(config-mon-erspan-src-dst)# ip address

ASR1002(config-mon-erspan-src-dst)# origin ip address


Configuring Catalyst 6509 to receive traffic from the source session on the ASR 1002


SW6509(config)# monitor session 2 type erspan-destination

SW6509(config-mon-erspan-dst)# destination interface gigabitEthernet2/2/1

SW6509(config-mon-erspan-dst)# no shutdown

SW6509(config-mon-erspan-dst)# source

SW6509(config-mon-erspan-dst-src)# erspan-id 101

SW6509(config-mon-erspan-dst-src)# ip address


You can use the show monitor session command to verify the configuration:


ASR1002#sh monitor session 1

Session 1


Type                   : ERSPAN Source Session

Status                 : Admin Enabled

Source Ports           :

   RX Only           : Gi0/1/0

Destination IP Address :

MTU                   : 1464

Destination ERSPAN ID : 101

Origin IP Address    :


To monitor the statistics of monitored traffic, you need to use "show platform hardware qfp active feature erspan state" command:


ASR1002#show platform hardware qfp active feature erspan state


Status    : Active

Complexes : 1

CPPs      : 1

Capabilites  :

Max sessions : 1024

Max outputs  : 128

Encaps type  : ERSPAN type-II

GRE protocol : 0x88BE

MTU          : 1464

IP TOS       : 0

IP TTL       : 255

COS          : 0

System Statistics:

DROP src session replica :                 0 /                 0

DROP term session replica:                 0 /                 0

DROP receive malformed   :                 0 /                 0

DROP receive invalid ID  :                 0 /                 0

DROP recycle queue full  :                 0 /                 0

DROP no GPM memory       :                 0 /                 0

DROP no channel memory   :                 0 /                 0

Client Debug Config:

Enabled: Info, Warn

Data Path Debug Config:






Note: is SW6509’s loopback. Is ASR1002's loopback. ip address in destination session and ip address in source session should match. If they don't- that is causing the drops you see.

Related Information:


Configuring ERSPAN


Is it possible to chain 2 local SPAN on different switches (which does not support RSPAN) ?


for exemple I configure a local SPAN session on switch1, the destination port is a dedicated link to switch2 on a port that is the source of a local SPAN on switch2.

Will it work ?


Hi, is it possible to configure for example 1 local span session and one remote span session with one destination port for both of them on the same switch?

Rachel Lee
Cisco Employee
Cisco Employee

Hi Ashirkar,

Thank you for sharing. May I know if SPAN could configure on Routers or only on Switches ? 


Hello i have a question :

CAN we use Rspan in this situation because it doesn't work for me.


How should the destination port of a RSPAN be configured??

as ACCESS Port or as TRUNK Port and which VLANS ??


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