Cisco NX-OS devices introduce support for multiple virtual device contexts (VDCs) on a single switching device. Each VDC is treated as a standalone device with specific resources, such as physical interfaces, allocated to each VDC by the network admin role. An administrator is assigned to each VDC and that administrator has a limited view of the system, within that specific VDC. Faults are also isolated to within the specific VDC.
This VDC concept applies to all features on Cisco NX-OS, including all Layer 2 switching features.
Figure 1. VDCs with Layer 2 Services.
All processes work independently in each VDC. You can reuse the process identification numbers in different VDCs. This figure shows how to reuse the VLAN 100 identifier in each separate VDC.
Each VDC acts as a standalone device with Layer 2 services available. VDCs allow you to share a physical device among several logical functions. You can provision and assign entirely separate Layer 2 resources to individual VDCs.
You can configure several VDCs, and each VDC is a group of physical device resources. You assign resources and user roles for each VDC. VDCs allows flexible resources as well as enhanced fault isolation.
VDCs allow the separation of processes and management environments, providing well-defined fault and administrative boundaries between logical devices. Each VDC can be considered as a separate device with its own configuration, resources, users, and management interface.
VDCs define different administrator levels, or roles, that can access and administer each VDC. Commands outside the scope of a given user role are either hidden from that user’s view or can return an error if the command is entered. This feature limits the number of users who can access the entire physical device and introduce traffic-disrupting misconfigurations.
See the Virtual Device Context Configuration Guide, Cisco DCNM for LAN, Release 5.x, for complete information on virtual device contexts (VDCs) and assigning resources.