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.

Work/life balance

After reading this thread at Reddit I I thought about work/life balance and I want to share some of the lessons I learned during the years that helped me achieving some sort of healthy balance.  And with the imminent birth of my third child being there for my wife and kids is all the more important.


First of all, I love what I do.. But at the same time I try to make sure the bad stuff which comes along with it is minimized to the max. That is one of the reasons I chose to work for a consultancy/contracting firm. I maximize the opportunities I have to work for a wide range of clients and minimize all the corporate BS that sometimes come with it.


Communication is key. Not only to your employer or client, but also to your wife, friends or family. I do engage in professional activities outside of normal working hours and sometimes this does take its toll on my private life. I try to check my schedule and that of my wife at the start of each week so we know if we have some special stuff going on. Sometimes I cancel after work activities as to be with my family.

If you think you need help, ask for it. I have struggled too long, wasted too many sleepless nights to try to solve stuff myself.. There are no stupid questions. No one is perfect. As an introvert it is sometimes hard to reach out, but I am getting better at it.

Choose or be chosen

This comes back to the first statement regarding passion. Passion also means focus. Saying “no” is also an answer. Especially when working for clients or freelance there seems to a tendency to say “yes” to everything as to not damage your own or your companies reputation. Well, if reputation is your problem then saying “yes”will definitely hurt it and get you into a world of pain.

Work out

I need exercise to keep me sane. I’m not one of those “I run to clear my mind” types. On the contrary, I think a lot when I’m jogging, but when I get home after a 10K run I somehow feel better and more positive.