Cisco Nexus 9K are not FCoE NPIV core switches

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The Cisco Nexus 9K’s have been out for a little while now, however it has only been recently that the support for FCoE have come to these switches.

However, the support for FCoE is only as an NPV edge switch, meaning that it basically passes through FCoE traffic to another FCoE switch. The other FCoE switch could be a pair of Nexus5K’s or Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects.

The FCoE NPV edge only mode within the Nexus 9K has been confirmed with Cisco and is true as of NXOS release 7.0(3)I4(1).

Hopefully they release NPIV core switch mode in the future.

Cisco Nexus NPV Edge Example

In the example below, we can see that the Nexus 9K switches are in NPV mode and simply allow the Netapp Storage to connect via FCoE. The FCoE traffic is then passed to 2 Cisco UCS Fabric Interconnects (FC Switch Mode, not in End-Host Mode) where all the zoning is done.

Cisco Nexus 9K FCoE
                          Cisco Nexus 9K FCoE