Ethernet interfaces can be configured either as
access ports or a trunk ports, as follows:
An access port can have only one VLAN
configured on the interface; it can carry traffic for only one VLAN.
A trunk port can have two or more VLANs
configured on the interface; it can carry traffic for several VLANs
Cisco NX-OS supports only IEEE
802.1Q-type VLAN trunk encapsulation.
The following figure shows how you can use trunk
ports in the network. The trunk port carries traffic for two or more VLANs.
Figure 1. Devices in a Trunking
In order to correctly deliver the traffic on a
trunk port with several VLANs, the device uses the IEEE 802.1Q encapsulation or
To optimize the performance on access ports, you
can configure the port as a host port. Once the port is configured as a host
port, it is automatically set as an access port, and channel grouping is
disabled. Use the host designation to decrease the time it takes the designated
port to begin to forward packets.
Only an end station can be set as a host port;
you will receive an error message if you attempt to configure other ports as
If an access port receives a packet with an 802.1Q
tag in the header other than the access VLAN value, that port drops the packet
without learning its MAC source address.
An Ethernet interface can function as either an
access port or a trunk port; it cannot function as both port types
Understanding IEEE 802.1Q Encapsulation
A trunk is a point-to-point link between the device and another
networking device. Trunks carry the traffic of multiple VLANs over a single
link and allow you to extend VLANs across an entire network.
To correctly deliver the traffic on a trunk port with several VLANs,
the device uses the IEEE 802.1Q encapsulation (tagging) method. This tag carries information about the
specific VLAN to which the frame and packet belong. This method allows packets
that are encapsulated for several different VLANs to traverse the same port and
maintain traffic separation between the VLANs. The encapsulated VLAN tag also
allows the trunk to move traffic end-to-end through the network on the same
Figure 2. Header Without and With 802.1Q Tag Included
Understanding Access VLANs
When you configure a port in access mode, you can specify which VLAN
will carry the traffic for that interface. If you do not configure the VLAN for
a port in access mode, or an access port, the interface carries traffic for the
default VLAN (VLAN1).
You can change the access port membership in a VLAN by specifying the
new VLAN. You must create the VLAN before you can assign it as an access VLAN
for an access port. If you change the access VLAN on an access port to a VLAN
that is not yet created, the system will shut that access port down.
If an access port receives a packet with an 802.1Q tag in the header
other than the access VLAN value, that port drops the packet without learning
its MAC source address.
If you assign an access VLAN that is also a primary VLAN for a
private VLAN, all access ports with that access VLAN will also receive all the
broadcast traffic for the primary VLAN in the private VLAN mode.
Understanding the Native VLAN ID for Trunk Ports
A trunk port can carry untagged packets simultaneously with the 802.1Q
tagged packets. When you assign a default port VLAN ID to the trunk port, all
untagged traffic travels on the default port VLAN ID for the trunk port, and
all untagged traffic is assumed to belong to this VLAN. This VLAN is referred
to as the native VLAN ID for a trunk port. The native VLAN ID is the VLAN that
carries untagged traffic on trunk ports.
The trunk port sends an egressing packet with a VLAN that is equal to
the default port VLAN ID as untagged; all the other egressing packets are
tagged by the trunk port. If you do not configure a native VLAN ID, the trunk
port uses the default VLAN.
Native VLAN ID numbers
must match on both ends of the trunk.
Understanding Allowed VLANs
By default, a trunk port sends traffic to and receives traffic from
all VLANs. All VLAN IDs are allowed on each trunk. However, you can remove
VLANs from this inclusive list to prevent traffic from the specified VLANs from
passing over the trunk. You can add any specific VLANs later that you may want
the trunk to carry traffic for back to the list.
To partition the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) topology for the default
VLAN, you can remove VLAN1 from the list of allowed VLANs. Otherwise, VLAN1,
which is enabled on all ports by default, will have a very big STP topology,
which can result in problems during STP convergence. When you remove VLAN1, all
data traffic for VLAN1 on this port is blocked, but the control traffic
continues to move on the port.
To provide additional
security for traffic passing through an 802.1Q trunk port, the
vlan dot1q tag
native command was introduced. This feature provides a means to
ensure that all packets going out of a 802.1Q trunk port are tagged and to
prevent reception of untagged packets on the 802.1Q trunk port.
Without this feature,
all tagged ingress frames received on a 802.1Q trunk port are accepted as long
as they fall inside the allowed VLAN list and their tags are preserved.
Untagged frames are tagged with the native VLAN ID of the trunk port before
Only those egress
frames whose VLAN tags are inside the allowed range for that 802.1Q trunk port
If the VLAN tag on a frame happens to match that of the native VLAN
on the trunk port, the tag is stripped off and the frame is sent untagged.
This behavior could
potentially be exploited to introduce "VLAN hopping" in which a hacker could
try and have a frame jump to a different VLAN. It is also possible for traffic
to become part of the native VLAN by sending untagged packets into an 802.1Q
To address the above
vlan dot1q tag
native command performs the following functions:
On the ingress
side, all untagged data traffic is dropped.
On the egress
side, all traffic is tagged. If traffic belongs to native VLAN it is tagged
with the native VLAN ID.
This feature is
supported on all the directly connected Ethernet and Port Channel interfaces.
It is also supported on all the host interface ports of any
attached Fabric Extender (FEX).
You can enable the
vlan dot1q tag
native command by entering the command in the global
Configuring Access and Trunk Interfaces
Configuring a LAN Interface as an Ethernet Access Port
You can configure an Ethernet interface as an access port. An access
port transmits packets on only one, untagged VLAN. You specify which VLAN
traffic that the interface carries. If you do not specify a VLAN for an access
port, the interface carries traffic only on the default VLAN. The default VLAN
The VLAN must exist before you can specify that VLAN as an access
VLAN. The system shuts down an access port that is assigned to an access VLAN
that does not exist.
Sets the interface as a nontrunking nontagged single-VLAN Ethernet
interface. An access port can carry traffic in one VLAN only. By default, an
access port carries traffic for VLAN1; to set the access port to carry traffic
for a different VLAN, use the
switchport access vlan command.
switchport access vlanvlan-id
Specifies the VLAN for which this access port will carry traffic.
If you do not enter this command, the access port carries traffic on VLAN1
only; use this command to change the VLAN for which the access port carries
This example shows how to set an interface as an Ethernet access port
that carries traffic for a specific VLAN only:
Sets the interface as an Ethernet trunk port. A
trunk port can carry traffic in one or more VLANs on the same physical link
(VLANs are based on the trunk-allowed VLANs list). By default, a trunk
interface can carry traffic for all VLANs. To specify that only certain VLANs
are allowed on the specified trunk, use the
allowed vlan command.
This example shows how to set an interface as an
Ethernet trunk port:
Sets allowed VLANs for the trunk interface. The default is to
allow all VLANs on the trunk interface: 1 to 3967 and 4048 to 4094. VLANs 3968
to 4047 are the default VLANs reserved for internal use by default; this group
of VLANs is configurable. By default, all VLANs are allowed on all trunk
You cannot add internally allocated VLANs as allowed VLANs on
trunk ports. The system returns a message if you attempt to list an internally
allocated VLAN as an allowed VLAN.
This example shows how to add VLANs to the list of allowed VLANs on an
Ethernet trunk port:
configure 802.1Q trunks with a native VLAN ID, which strips tagging from all
packets on that VLAN. This configuration allows all untagged traffic and
control traffic to transit the
Cisco Nexus device. Packets that enter the switch with
802.1Q tags that match the native VLAN ID value are similarly stripped of
To maintain the
tagging on the native VLAN and drop untagged traffic, enter the
vlan dot1q tag
native command. The switch will tag the traffic received on the
native VLAN and admit only 802.1Q-tagged frames, dropping any untagged traffic,
including untagged traffic in the native VLAN.
continues to be accepted untagged on the native VLAN on a trunked port, even
tag native command is enabled.
vlan dot1q tag
native command is enabled on global basis.
Command or Action
tag native [tx-only]
(IEEE 802.1Q) tagging for all native VLANs on all trunked ports on the
Cisco Nexus device. By default, this feature is disabled.
dot1q tag native [tx-only]
(IEEE 802.1Q) tagging for all native VLANs on all trunked ports on the switch.
dot1q tag native
status of tagging on the native VLANs.
This example shows
how to enable 802.1Q tagging on the switch:
switch# configure terminal
switch(config)# vlan dot1q tag native
switch# show vlan dot1q tag native
vlan dot1q native tag is enabled
Use the following
commands to display access and trunk interface configuration information.
the interface configuration
information for all Ethernet interfaces, including access and trunk interfaces.