Cisco Nexus 5K – Unified Port Conversion

Nexus 5000 series UP switches have the option of either enabling individual ports as Ethernet or Fibre Channel ports. One of the strict guidelines is to begin enabling ethernet ports at the first port 1/1 and in the case of Fiber Channel begin at the last port of the module and work backwards. If this rule is not followed you will receive the following error(s):

ERROR: Ethernet range starts from first port of the module
ERROR: FC range should end on last port of the module

For this example we will configure Slot-4 on a 5596-UP switch; enabling all 16 ports on the modules for fibre channel connectivity. Here is the view of the switch prior to converting the ports to FC:

Blog_N5K_PortConversion0

As you can see the first Slot has 48 unified ports and we have added an additional unified module to Slot-4. Following the unified port guidelines we would start assigning FC ports at 1/48 for Slot-1 and 4/16 for Slot-4 (As per this example). With a 5596-UP switch the first Slot has 32 unified ports built in, with the option of adding an additional module to Slot-2, again following the guidelines for a 5548-UP switch the Ethernet ports begin at 1/1, FC at 1/32 and for Slot-2 Ethernet allocation begins at 2/1 and FC at 2/16.

Converting the entire Slot-4 module to FC:

switch# Show interface brief

Eth4/1 1 eth access down SFP validation failed 10G(D) —
Eth4/2 1 eth access down SFP validation failed 10G(D) —
Eth4/3 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/4 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/5 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/6 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/7 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/8 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/9 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/10 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/11 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/12 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/13 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/14 1 eth access down SFP not inserted 10G(D) —
Eth4/15 1 eth access down SFP validation failed 10G(D) —
Eth4/16 1 eth access down SFP validation failed 10G(D) —

Enter global config mode:
switch# configure terminal

Jump on Slot-4:
switch(config)# slot 4

Configure all 16 Ports on the unified module as a native Fibre Channel port:
switch(config-slot)# port 1-16 type fc

Save config:
switch(config-slot)# copy running-config startup-config

Important point to note here is that a full reload is not required when converting a port on an expansion module(GEM), you just need to simply power cycle the GEM card (In the case of converting a port on the main slot-1 then a full reload of the switch is required.):
switch(config-slot)# poweroff module 4
switch(config-slot)# no poweroff module 4

View the port configuration after power cycle of Slot-4:
switch# show interface brief

fc4/1 1 auto on up swl F 8 —
fc4/2 1 auto on up swl F 8 —
fc4/3 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/4 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/5 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/6 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/7 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/8 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/9 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/10 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/11 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/12 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/13 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/14 1 auto on sfpAbsent — — —
fc4/15 1 auto on down swl — —
fc4/16 1 auto on down swl — —

Blog_N5K_PortConversion1

Note: after issuing a conversion to FC on the switch you have 120 days to acquire a permanent license:
switch# show license usage

Feature Ins Lic Status Expiry Date Comments
Count
——————————————————————————–
FCOE_NPV_PKG No – Unused –
FM_SERVER_PKG No – Unused –
ENTERPRISE_PKG No – In use Grace 119D 20H
FC_FEATURES_PKG No – In use Grace 119D 20H
VMFEX_FEATURE_PKG No – Unused –
ENHANCED_LAYER2_PKG No – Unused –
LAN_BASE_SERVICES_PKG No – Unused –
LAN_ENTERPRISE_SERVICES_PKG No – Unused –
——————————————————————————–

3 thoughts on “Cisco Nexus 5K – Unified Port Conversion

  1. Thanks David, I actually came across this issue on-site today following a Cisco Validated Design which put the FCOE Port Channel ports connecting from the Nexus 5K’s to the FI’s on ports 31 and 32 for both VSAN’s. Suffice to say when I went to up-link native FC ports from the 5K’s to the customer’s Brocade switches I received the error when trying to enable the FC ports.

    The cisco validated design never made provision for future native FC up-linking which I should of made provision for !

  2. Hi David,

    Thanks for the post.
    It seems there is an element of time that will need to be observed between issuing these 2 commands:
    switch(config-slot)# poweroff module 4
    switch(config-slot)# no poweroff module 4

    In my previous implementations, had to wait between 5 to 10 minutes before issuing “no poweroff module 4” otherwise newly configured vsans on that module were down
    Although the “show module 4 port type” presented all ports in FC mode,

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