Datacenter Design IV ( VPC , MEC, Fabric Extenders )

What is a vPC (virtual Port Channel)

  • Nexus series Network Virtualisation Technology.
  • “Lightweight” VSS – Combine ports, not switches.
  • Links on different switches to appear as the same device.
  • Downstream device can be anything supoprting 802.3ad (LACP).
  • Commonly called Multi Chassis Etherchannel ( MEC ).

Multi Chassis Etherchannel

  • Multi chassis etherchannel ( MEC / MC-LAG ) allows two switches to appear as a single switch.
  • Technology used to form a virtual switch ( VSS / vPC ) are not standard.
  • MEC Provides load balancing and High Availability ( HA ).
  • 16-port Etherchannel possibilities.

Fabric Extenders

  • FEX: Top of Rack ( TOR ) concept with end of rack ( EOR ) benefits.
  • Nexus 2000 series , seperate yet controlled from the parent switch.
  • vPC on EOR switches feeds redundant FEXS for MEC capabilities.
  • no STP, no L3 convergence – HA Ability of MEC.
  • Aggregation switch is the brain, no local switching.


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