Combined M3/F3 modules and L3 over vPC

My current client uses IBM mainframes running Z/OS and they run OSPF from their LPAR’s (LPAR’s are VM’s before VMWare made them hip and happening..  ) to the network. In order to get rid of some old infrastructure we want to have those LPAR’s talk OSPF to the Nexus 7710’s for redundancy.

The option to use dynamic routing over VPC is a feature with is available on the Nexus 7000 platform from version 7.2(0)D1(1) on F2E and F3 modules.

See this link for more info.  There is a catch though: if you use specific M3 cards in the same chassis, you are forced to use version 8.1(1). See the matrix here for an overview. Even when you are using a combination of M3 and F3 cards you still need the latest (Early Deployment) release to make dynamic routing over VPC possible. Even if the actual vPC member links are connected to F3 cards. The fact that there are also M3 cards in the chassis makes this a neccesity. 

Is this a problem? Not if you plan to go into production with a shiny new NX-OS codebase. Problem is that the recommended NX-OS release for the NX7710 is 6.2(16). Which doesn’t support M3 cards anyway. So going for 7.3(0)DX(1) is your only option. But this version is also an Early Deployment (ED) release.

Seems like your stuck between a rock and a hard place. We are testing version 7.3 right now and we don’t expect too much issues, but it is an ED version, so there is some associated risk. We might be using separate L3 links to connect the mainframe after all.