An interesting find today, probably one of the reason why Cisco’s CCNA/CCNP exams focus alot on the part numbers of its Nexus line.

One of the funny things I found when I first started doing the CCNA/CCNP Data center cert tracks was the emphasis on testing one on the actual part IDs that Cisco offers. Now I know why!

I recently had to RMA a switch in a Cisco Nexus 5k pair. Sounds straight-forward right?

A few things to review ahead of time before the cut is…

1. Do a #sh license usage on the switch. You’ll need to reach out to the Cisco License dept to get a new set of licenses in order to enable simple features like EIGRP. Ever since Cisco went towards its Nexus line (or IOS 15+) its licensing structure has changed dramatically.

NEXUS5500# sh license usage
Feature                      Ins  Lic   Status Expiry Date Comments
FCOE_NPV_PKG                  No    –   Unused             –
FM_SERVER_PKG                 No    –   Unused             –
ENTERPRISE_PKG                No    –   Unused             –
FC_FEATURES_PKG               No    –   Unused             –
VMFEX_FEATURE_PKG             No    –   Unused             –
ENHANCED_LAYER2_PKG           No    –   Unused             –
LAN_BASE_SERVICES_PKG         Yes   –   In use Never       –
LAN_ENTERPRISE_SERVICES_PKG   Yes   –   Unused Never       –

In the example above, this switch currently runs both the LAN_BASE_SERVICES license and LAN_ENTERPRISE_SERVICES. For a full listing of what license does what, checkout this page.

So I start applying config and all of a sudden, the NX-OS line refuese to accept my EIGRP commands. What — why not?! First I didnt have the LAN_ENTERPRISE_SERVICES license. Once I applied it, (see this post for the potential horrors of applying a license on a 5k) I was able to apply my EIGRP commands.

Next up, especially if you are running a VPC domain (and if your running 5ks, 7ks, you probably are!), you’ll want to do layer 3 interfaces on your switch. Once again, Cisco slap you in the face — but this time around its not a license, but an actual daughter card that you need to physically install on your switch.

The KB article above (CTRL+F for N55-M160L3-V2) shows how to install such a module/daughter card. If you are missing this module when you install your Nexus switch like a #sh inv will show…

NAME: “Module 2”, DESCR: “O2 GEM with L3 ASIC”
PID: N55-M160L3-V2     , VID: V01 , SN: XXXXXXXXXX

If you dont have this in your switch, when you issue a #sh int status

NEXUS5500# sh int status

Port          Name               Status    Vlan      Duplex  Speed   Type
Eth1/1        NYC_NETWORKERS Unknown trunk     full    10G     1Gbase-SR

You’ll see all these Unknown interfaces. I wish Cisco was a bit more clear when it came to this, but basically the switch needs this daughter card in order to have layer 3 interfaces. Once you install this card (and also have the LAN_BASE and LAN_ENTERPRISE license installed), you can now use layer 3 interfaces. Installing this card is real simple, but you need to power off the switch, install the card, then power it back on and then make sure the switch recognizes the card but issuing a #sh inv

Thats it! Remember the license and any modules when replacing a 5k!




William Zambrano

William Zambrano

NYC networkers is run by William Zambrano, a passionate network engineer who has been in the IT industry for eight years who posts up blog articles, YouTube videos, and holds events in the NYC area. He lives in Queens, New York and has consulted in various different companies in the NY area. Previously William worked as a Cisco Certified Systems Instructor (CCSI) but now currently works for Arista Networks serving as a Systems Engineer. William can be reached by email at

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