Enabling Jumbo Frames on a Nexus 5000

I’ve been doing a pretty fair amount of work recently with the Cisco Nexus 5000 series of switches, as evidenced by the flurry of Nexus-related articles:

One thing I hadn’t yet documented was how to enable jumbo frames on a Nexus 5000. Since jumbo frames are now officially supported for VMkernel traffic with VMware vSphere, the combination of jumbo frames and 10Gb Ethernet is an attractive one. I’ve covered the ESX/ESXi side (ordinary vSwitches here and distributed vSwitches here), but here’s the Nexus side.

The commands are pretty straightforward, and I’ve included the commands for both NX-OS 4.0 and NX-OS 4.1 (they are different between versions). Important note: if you enabled jumbo frames under NX-OS 4.0 and then upgraded the switch to version 4.1, you’ll need to re-do your jumbo frame configuration.

For NX-OS 4.1, the commands to enable jumbo frames are:

switch(config)# policy-map type network-qos jumbo
switch(config-pmap-nq)# class type network-qos class-default
switch(config-pmap-c-nq)# mtu 9216
switch(config-pmap-c-nq)# exit
switch(config-pmap-nq)# exit
switch(config)# system qos
switch(config-sys-qos)# service-policy type network-qos jumbo

Now, contrast the commands above with the following commands, which you would have used to enable jumbo frames on NX-OS 4.0:

switch(config)# policy-map jumbo
switch(config-pmap)# class class-default
switch(config-pmap-c)# mtu 9216
switch(config-pmap-c)# exit
switch(config)# system qos
switch(config-system)# service-policy jumbo

The end result of these differences is this: if you upgrade NX-OS from 4.0 to 4.1, then your jumbo frames configuration will go away, and you’ll need to enter the commands for version 4.1 in order to enable jumbo frame support again. This little gotcha caused me quite a headache when my NFS-based datastores suddenly went offline after the NX-OS upgrade.

More information on the necessary commands can be found here for version 4.0 and here for version 4.1.

About the author

Scott Lowe

As a 20+ year veteran in the Information Technology field, I've done quite a few different things. I've worked as an instructor, a technical trainer and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), systems administrator, IT manager, systems engineer, consultant, and Chief Technology Officer for a small start-up. I was also lucky enough to publish a few books on topics like VMware vSphere, OpenStack, and network automation. Currently, I work at VMware, Inc., focusing on cloud computing, open source, networking, and virtualization.