Cisco DCNM License

Cisco DCNM License

Cisco Data Center Network Manager

Cisco Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) is the comprehensive management solution for all NX-OS network deployments spanning LAN fabrics, SAN fabrics, and IP Fabric for Media (IPFM) networking in the data center powered by Cisco. DCNM 11 provides management, control, automation, monitoring, visualization, and troubleshooting across Cisco Nexus and Cisco Multilayer Distributed Switching (MDS) solutions.

Product Overview

DCNM 11 supports multitenant, multifabric infrastructure management for Cisco Nexus Switches. DCNM also supports storage management with the Cisco MDS 9000 family and Cisco Nexus switch storage functions.

Note: There are two types of installations: Virtual Appliance (OVA or ISO) for LAN operations and Standalone Installer (Microsoft Windows Server or Red Hat) for SAN operations. This document spans both modes of operation.

The manager provides fabric-oriented configuration and operations management. It is optimized for large deployments with little overhead, but traditional deployments are supported as well for implementations that do not require automation. Fabric deployments can be customized by the user to meet business needs.

Multitenant cloud deployments and scalable fabric management are supported through integration with popular hypervisor solutions such as VMware vSphere. Representational State Transfer (REST) APIs allow easy integration from Cisco or third-party overlay managers.

DCNM 11 provides interfaces for reoccurring management tasks such as fabric bootstrap, compliance SAN zoning, device-alias management, slow-drain analysis, SAN host-path redundancy, and port-monitoring configuration. Some highlights of Cisco DCNM 11 are given below.

Highlights for DCNM Version 11

New features

LAN Fabric with VXLAN EVPN

  • Dynamic, policy-based configuration for underlay, overlay, and interfaces.
  • Fabric Builder for easy underlay bring-up and deployment.
  • Simplified bootstrap using Power On Auto Provisioning (POAP) integrated into the Fabric Builder function.
  • Configuration compliance that constantly monitors the fabric to ensure fabric consistency.
  • Context-specific topology operation views for Fabric Builder and overlay network management.
  • One-click virtual Port Channel (vPC) configuration.
  • Global interface configuration for Cisco Fabric Extender (FEX), vPCs, port channels, and loopback, trunk, or access ports with customizable policy templates.
  • Resource manager for fabric resources, including underlay, loopbacks, vPCs, port channels, FEX, VXLAN VNI, Layer 2 and Layer 3 VLANs, and sub-interfaces.
  • Per-switch configuration deployment history of underlay, overlay, and interface configurations.
  • Customizable Python++ templates for the Fabric Builder function.
  • Easy Return Materiel Authorization (RMA) provisioning workflow.
  • Simplified workflow for switch installation and upgrades.
  • Multifabric support.
  • Multisite domains for VXLAN EVPN multisite deployments.
  • Overlay network provisioning for leaf and borders switches, including external connectivity.
  • Underlay and overlay migration for NFM-deployed LAN fabrics.


Storage networking

  • DCNM SAN insights telemetry.
  • Integrated device manager for SAN.
  • Virtual SAN (VSAN) management new look and feel.
  • Port-channel management interface update.
  • Switch-based license management.
  • IVR Zoning GUI.

IP Fabric for Media (IPFM) deployments

  • Flow visibility and endpoint monitoring via Cisco Nexus streaming telemetry.
  • Enhanced host and flow policy management.
  • Workflow extension to API and AMQP notifications to support new functions.
  • Increase in number of managed flows, endpoints, and host/flow policies.
  • Batch deployment in static API for “join” and “leave” operations.
  • Support for hybrid topologies – allows connecting endpoints to spine switches.

Installation / infrastructure and monitoring

  • Environmental metrics (CPU, memory, power, fan, temperature) visualization based on data collected via streaming telemetry (preview feature).
  • VMware vCenter compute integration on topology view (virtual machines, vSwitch/DVS, port group, vNIC, VMNIC).
  • Simplified web installer for LAN Fabric, LAN Classic, and IP Fabric for Media deployments.
  • Enhanced performance monitoring with user-defined policies to trigger alarms.
  • Scalable application framework using Docker-based micro-services platform.
  • Self-documented “Swagger”-style built-in documentation for REST APIs, with examples.

Feature Details and Benefits

Multifabric Manager / Multidomain Manager

DCNM Version 11 lets you manage multiple NX-OS fabrics. Each fabric has its own policy configurations and pool management. This makes it easy to grow your enterprise as needed without having to deploy another manager.
DCNM Version 11 includes not only VXLAN fabric functions but also “Classic” LAN management, SAN management, and IP Fabric for Media Solution management. You install the option for the kind of manager you need.

Simplified VXLAN Fabric Deployment

Data Center Network Manager

DCNM 11 brings an easy-to-understand and simple deployment approach to bootstrapping a new VXLAN fabric.

The system monitors the management network and auto-populates the fabric with your switch targets – no more transcribing or importing serial numbers. Cisco’s best practices are built in to the VXLAN-enabled policy templates, and automatic bootstrap occurs with the click of a button.

Automatic topology configuration is based on the device’s role in the fabric, such as leaf, spine, border gateway, etc. Automatic VPC-pair matching is also included to reduce deployment time. DCNM 11’s Fabric Builder includes Closed-Loop Configuration Compliance (below) for reliable fabric deployments and no surprises.

Closed-Loop Configuration Compliance

DCNM 11 monitors the underlay (VXLAN tunnel endpoints; VTEP), overlay VXLAN SDN, and port configuration on your fabric.

DCNM 11 constantly monitors your VXLAN-EVPN fabric to know if there are unanticipated or uncontrolled changes. The system will identify any such changes, and let you decide when and how to remediate the issues. Remediation is straightforward and simple – all you have to do is review and deploy the synchronization corrections to restore the fabric to its intended configuration.

Active Topology Fabric Views

DCNM 11 maintains the same active topology monitoring views per fabric (or scope) from earlier versions, but now that same active topology is carried into the new Fabric Builder views. This helps you know what the network intent is, and dynamically changes as you build your fabric. Device discovery and Power On Auto Provisioning (POAP) are incorporated directly into the Fabric Builder view.

Change the Fabric on the Fly

DCNM 11 Fabric Builder collects the network configuration into a set of policy “atoms” that can be updated at any time, so updates have a minimum impact.

Simplified RMA

Large networks need to be maintained efficiently. DCNM 11 includes maintenance-mode and RMA actions right on the actual topology display – you can put a switch into maintenance mode and swap serial numbers with a replacement unit with a few clicks.

VXLAN EVPN Multisite

Now you can extend a VXLAN Network Interface (VNI) across multiple sites using DCNM. Connected fabrics appear in the topology views after DCNM configures the border-leaf connections between the fabrics.

Telemetry-Enabled Environment Monitors

DCNM 11 includes active telemetry monitors for CPU, power, memory, fan, and temperature. The telemetry function shows side-by-side switch views and allows drill-down for details. For example, you can select a switch CPU monitor to drill down to the individual processes’ CPU consumption.

Programmable Interface Control

The Fabric Control feature includes a fabric-global interface control page. From this page, the operator can provision access ports, create new SVIs, view the interface history, and view interfaces using customizable “Show” templates.

REST APIs for Automation

Automation of DCNM is straightforward and simple: the DCNM web page includes a local URL to access the Swagger-style REST API documentation with some useful code examples.

Compute Visibility on Fabric Topology View

DCNM 11 integrates VMware topology onto its dynamic topology views. You simply “Discover” a VCenter that controls the host-based networking on the fabric to show how the virtual machine, host, and virtual switches are interconnected. This is a great benefit for the network operator since it gives compute visibility, which is ordinarily the purview of compute administration.

DCNM SAN Insights Brings Switch Telemetry to Life

One of DCNM 11’s big new features is SAN Insights, which provides collection and visualization of the MDS 32GB devices’ telemetry data. This data will be streamed out using industry standard delivery methods to DCNM, where the data will be analyzed and presented. This new feature provides insight into end-to-end flow-based metrics, custom graphing, outlier detection, ECT analysis, summary dashboard, and telemetry configuration, to name a few. This new set of features also provides health data that shows the health of your host, storage, and IT pairs across all of your fabrics. SAN Insights also include new infrastructure to help consume all of the new telemetry data available only on the new 32GB MDS switches from Cisco. Find issues quickly with SAN Insights, and leverage this data to reduce downtime and increase reliability.

Integrated Device Manager for SAN

DCNM 11 integrates Cisco’s Device Manager directly within the web user interface. You simply select the tab on the switch view, and, voila, it is right there, to manage fully every detail of the switch. This feature is also available directly from the Topology page and offers seamless integration of the device within context.

VSAN Management gets a New Look

DCNM 11 also includes a newly redesigned interface to manage and maintain all of the VSANs in your physical fabrics. Many new features that allow you to visualize all of the VSANs and quickly distinguish between up and down VSANs simply by color and associated icons. Intelligence within the feature can help you determine where those VSANs currently reside and how to extend them to all of the switches in your fabrics. Manage, maintain, and control access within your fabrics with the all new VSAN management feature of DCNM 11.

Port Channel Management Updated

DCNM 11 also includes a newly redesigned interface to manage and maintain all of the port channels within your fabrics. Build, maintain, and control access to the port channels using DCNM 11. This new interface in the web-user interface provides the features and controls needed to build out transport across your fabrics simply and easily.

Switch-Based License Management

DCNM 11 also includes a new feature that allows customers the capability to install switch-based licenses from within DCNM. DCNM 11 will transport the license and install it on the switch in minimal time. This feature can be used on any switch for all switch-based licenses. Install the enterprise license, DCNM SAN Advanced, IOA, port activation, or the new SAN Insights license, all from within the same DCNM interface.

IVR Zoning Interface

DCNM 11 also includes a new interface in the web user interface that focuses on managing IVR zones. This is a very critical feature for customers who do site-to-site replication, and even for customers who do inter-VSAN routing within their data centers. This feature has the same look and feel as the regular Zoning interface, so transitions between the two are meant to be seamless and easy.

Platform Support Information

Product familly DCNM

Server Requirements

Cisco DCNM, Release 11.0(1), supports the Cisco DCNM Server on these 64-bit operating systems:

● LAN deployments (LAN Fabric, Classic LAN, and IP Fabric for Media (IPFM) deployments)

  • Open Virtual Appliance (OVA) with integrated Operating System (CentOS 7.4) installed on VMware vCenter 5.5 or later.
  • ISO Virtual Appliance (ISO) with integrated Operating System (CentOS 7.4) installed on bare-metal Cisco UCS® C-Series servers or Red Hat 7 KVM.

● SAN deployments:

  • Microsoft Windows 2012 R2.
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux Release 7.0, 7.3 and 7.4.

Host Requirements

The table below lists the server resource requirements for deploying the Data Center Network Manager 11.

Host requirements for Cisco Data Center Network Manager 11 Deployment

Installation type

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