Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ERSPAN with Nexus 1000V

The value of ERSPAN cannot be overstated!  It provides the much needed visibility into virtualized environments that are rapidly becoming the de facto server paradigm these days.

Encapsulated remote span work by tunnelling packets to a remote analyzer platform such as the Network Analysis Module (in this case its a NAM blade in a Catalyst 6500).

The key to picking up copies of traffic from inside the virtual world is the "l3-control" capability in a Nexus 1000V port-profile as seen here:

port-profile type vethernet esx_300
  capability l3control  vmware port-group
  switchport mode access
  switchport access vlan 300
  no shutdown
  system vlan 300
  state enabled
And notice that it appears in the "system-uplink" profile:

port-profile type ethernet system-uplink
  vmware port-group
  switchport mode trunk
  switchport trunk allowed vlan 300-304
  pinning control-vlan 0
  pinning packet-vlan 0
  mtu 9000
  channel-group auto mode on mac-pinning
  no shutdown
  system vlan 300,303
  state enabled
Next, we costruct the ERSPAN session as follows:

monitor session 64 type erspan-source
  description n1K_ERSPAN_example
  source vlan 300,304 both
  destination ip
  erspan-id 700
  ip ttl 64
  ip prec 0
  ip dscp 0
  mtu 1500
  header-type 2
  no shut
We selected an ERSPAN id of 700 which helps identify the session on the remote NAM platform.

Assuming that IP routing is active, the ERSPAN session will show up automatically on the NAM under "data sources".  You will be able to specify filters and analyze traffic from any VLAN that the Nexus 1000V controls within the virtual world.  Here we are using VLAN 304 as an example.

1 comment:

  1. Hi the ERSPAN SYSTEM VLAN is the same as that used for the VCENTER or may be independent of this?
    For using it?

    Thanks for the input.