Redundant Paths w/ CNAs and Nexus 1000v


Installing some ESX 4.0 servers using Emulex CNAs connected to Nexus 5020s. We're also using the Nexus 1000v. Each server has two CNAs (single port) with each one connected to a different Nexus 5K. We are using the 5K and CNAs for both 10Gb Ethernet and FCoE. What's the best way to do redundant paths?

I can't do vPC. If I put the two connections from a server in to a vPC I can't bind a vFC to it. The 5K won't let me. So I thought I'd use vPC-HM on the 1000v side. But, am I correct in reading that if you do this you still have to put each port in a channel-group on the 5K side by itself? If so, that won't work either due to the vFC issue.

If I just uplink both CNAs to the same system-uplink profile I can't duplicate frames (and a loop).

What are my options?

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Hot Shot
Hot Shot

Use vPC-HM. You do not have to create a channel group on the Nexus 5020s for vPC-HM to work. You do need to have CDP enabled to make the configuration easier. The great thing about vPC-HM is that the N1KV does all the load balancing not the upstream switches.

Now if you want to later add more connections to the uplink say another connection from switch 1 and switch 2 and load balance across 4 connections then you will need an etherchannel on the upstream switch. The documentation does a good job of explaining this scenario.