Overview

This guide contains the maximum verified scalability limits for ACI parameters for the Cisco APIC Release 2.0(1m) and Cisco Nexus 9000 Series ACI-Mode Switches, Release 12.0(1). These values are based on a profile where each feature was scaled to the numbers specified in the tables. These numbers do not represent the theoretically possible ACI fabric scale.

General Scalability Limits

  • L2 Fabric: In Legacy mode there is no routing, L3 context, nor contract enabled in the L2 fabric profile.  A tenant in this profile does not need to be mapped to one dedicated ACI tenant.  A tenant can be represented by a set of EPGs instead. To improve the load sharing among APIC controller nodes, you must distribute EPGs and BDs across an ACI tenant.

  • L3 Fabric: The ACI L3 fabric solution provides a feature-rich highly scalable solution for public cloud and large enterprise. With this design, almost all supported features are deployed at the same time and are tested as a solution. The scalability numbers listed in this section are multi-dimensional scalability numbers. The fabric scalability numbers represent the overall number of objects created on the fabric. The per-leaf scale numbers are the objects created and presented on an individual leaf switch. The fabric level scalability numbers represent APIC cluster scalability and the tested upper limits. Some of the per-leaf scalability numbers are subject to hardware restrictions. The per-leaf scalability numbers are the maximum limits tested and supported by leaf switch hardware. This does not necessarily mean that every leaf switch in the fabric was tested with maximum scale numbers.

  • Stretched Fabric: Stretched fabric allows multiple fabrics (up to 3) distributed in multiple locations to be connected as a single fabric with a single management domain. The scale for the entire stretched fabric remains the same as for a single site fabric. For example a L3 stretched fabric will support up to 200 leafs total which is the maximum number of leafs supported on a single site fabric. Parameters only relevant to stretched fabric are mentioned in the tables below.

  • Multi-Pod: Multipod enables provisioning a more fault-tolerant fabric comprised of multiple pods with isolated control plane protocols. Also, multipod provides more flexibility with regard to the full mesh cabling between leaf and spine switches. For example, if leaf switches are spread across different floors or different buildings, multipod enables provisioning multiple pods per floor or building and providing connectivity between pods through spine switches.

    Multipod uses a single APIC cluster for all the pods; all the pods act as a single fabric. Individual APIC controllers are placed across the pods but they are all part of a single APIC cluster.

Feature

L2 Fabric

L3 Fabric

Large L3 Fabric

Number of APIC controllers

3

3

5

Number of leaf switches

80

80

200

Number of spines

6

6

6

Number of FEXs

N/A

12 per leaf, 120 per fabric

N/A

Number of tenants

N/A

1,000

3,000

Number of Layer 3 (L3) contexts

N/A

1,000

3,000

Number of contracts/filters

N/A

  • 1,000 contracts

  • 10,000 filters

  • 1,000 contracts

  • 10,000 filters

Number of endpoint groups (EPGs)

21,000 (500 maximum per tenant)

15,000 (500 maximum per tenant)

15,000 (500 maximum per tenant)

Number of Isolation enabled EPGs

150

150

150

Number of endpoints (EPs)

180,000

180,000

180,000

Number of bridge domains (BDs)

21,000

15,000

15,000

Number of IP longest prefix matches (IP LPMs) (for external connection)

Note 
This limit exists across all protocols/transit scenarios

N/A

  • IPv4; 40,000

  • IPv6; 20,000

  • Per Leaf IPv4 and IPv6; 10,000 total

  • IPv4; 40,000

  • IPv6; 20,000

  • Per Leaf IPv4 and IPv6; 10,000 total

Number of BGP + number of OSPF sessions + EIGRP (for external connection)

N/A

1,200

1,200

Number of Multicast groups

N/A

8,000

8,000

Number of Multicast groups per VRF

N/A

8,000

8,000

Number of vCenters

N/A

  • 50 vDS

  • 50 AVS

  • 50 vDS

  • 50 AVS

Number of Service Chains

N/A

1,000

1,000

Number of L4 - L7 devices

N/A

30 physical, 1,200 virtual (1,200 maximum per fabric)

30 physical, 1,200 virtual (1,500 maximum per fabric)

Number of ESX hosts - VDS

N/A

3,200

3,200

Number of ESX hosts - AVS

N/A

3,200 (Only 1 AVS instance per host)

3,200 (Only 1 AVS instance per host)

Number of VMs

N/A

Depends upon server scale

Depends upon server scale

Number of configuration zones per fabric

30

30

30

Number of BFD sessions

  • 256 (physical interface, VRF)

  • 512 per Leaf

  • 256 (physical interface, VRF)

  • 512 per Leaf

  • 256 (physical interface, VRF)

  • 512 per Leaf

Multi-Pod

N/A

6 pods, 80 nodes overalll

4 pods, 200 nodes max per pod, 300 leaf switches overall

L3 eVPN Services over Fabric WAN

N/A

1,000 VRFs, 60,000 routes in a fabric

1,000 VRFs, 60,000 routes in a fabric

Layer 3 Multicast

N/A

8,000 multicast routes

8,000 multicast routes

Fabric Topology, SPAN, Tenants, Contexts, External EPGs, Bridge Domains, Endpoints, and Contracts Scalability Limits

Configurable Options

Per Leaf Scale

Per Fabric Scale

Fabric Topology

Maximum number of vPCs

320 (hif vPC with FEX)

(Number of leafs /2) X 48

Maximum number of encaps per vPC

1,750 (ports X encap < 64,000)

If the BD is in classic mode, 48 X 3,500 = 168,000 port-VLAN combination is supported in the L2 Fabric mode.

Note 

With EPG deployed on FEX : port-VLAN combination is restricted to 10,000.

N/A

Maximum number of Member Links per vPC

8

N/A

Maximum number of PCs

48

(Number of leafs) X 48

Maximum number of encaps per PC

1,750 (ports X encap < 64,000)

N/A

Maximum number of Member Links per PC

8

N/A

Maximum number of PCs, access ports

48

(Number of leafs) X 48

Maximum number of encaps per access port

1,750 (ports X encap < 64,000)

N/A

Number of ports x VLANs (global scope)

(No FEX, no local scope VLANS)

64,000

N/A

Number of ports x VLANs (local scope)

(FEX and/or local scope VLANS)

10,000

N/A

STP

All VLANs

N/A

Maximum number of endpoints (EPs)

  • IPv4; 12,000 or

  • IPv6; 6,000 or

  • IPv4; 4,000, IPv6; 4,000

180,000

Number of Multicast Groups

8,000

8,000

Number of Multicast Groups per VRF

8,000

8,000

Number of IPs per MAC

256

256

SPAN

  • 4 infra/tenant sessions

  • 4 fabric sessions (VXLAN is carried in the SPAN)

8 fabric sessions per fabric

Number of ports per SPAN session

  • All leaf access ports could be in one session

  • All leaf fabric ports could be in one session

N/A

Number of source EPG/BDs per SPAN session

280

N/A

Common pervasive gateway

256 virtual IPs per Bridge Domain

N/A

Maximum number of Data Plane policers

  • 64 ingress policers

  • 64 egress policers

N/A

Maximum number of SNMP trap receivers

10

10

Tenants

Number of Contexts per tenant

8

8

Number of application profiles per tenant (or per Context)

N/A

N/A

Contexts (All numbers applicable to dual stack unless explicitly called out)

Maximum number of Context

200

N/A

Maximum number of BDs per Context

256

N/A

Border Leafs per L3 Out

N/A

4

Maximum number of LPM Prefixes for External EPG Classification

1,000 IPv4

N/A

Maximum number of vzAny Provided Contracts

16 per Ctx

N/A

Maximum number of vzAny Consumed Contracts

16 per Ctx

N/A

Maximum number of L3 Outs

400

400

L3 Out per context

--

400

Maximum number of Routed, Routed Sub-interface, or SVIs per L3 Out

  • 8 for Routed and Routed sub-interface

  • 200 for SVI

  • 8 for Routed and Routed sub-interface

  • 400 for SVI

Maximum number of Dynamic Routing protocol peers for BGP

300

N/A

Maximum number of Dynamic Routing protocol peers for OSPF

300

N/A

Maximum number of Dynamic Routing protocol peers for EIGRP

16

N/A

Maximum number of Static Routes

  • IPv4; 10,000 or

  • IPv6; 6,000 or

  • IPv4; 4,000, IPv6; 4,000

  • IPv4; 40,000 or

  • IPv6; 20,000 or

  • IPv4; 10,000, IPv6; 10,000

Maximum number of External Routes

  • IPv4; 10,000 or

  • IPv6; 6,000 or

  • IPv4; 4,000, IPv6; 4,000

  • IPv4; 40,000 or

  • IPv6; 20,000 or

  • IPv4; 10,000, IPv6; 10,000

Maximum number of Secondary addresses per L3 out

1

1

Maximum number of L3 interfaces per Context (SVIs and sub-interfaces)

  • 200 for SVI

  • 32 for subinterfaces

  • 400 for SVI

  • 32 for subinterfaces

Maximum number of ARP entries for L3 Outs

7500

N/A

Shared L3 Out

  • IPv4: 2,000 or

  • IPv6: 1,000

  • IPv4: 6,000 or

  • IPv6: 3,000

External EPGs

Number of External EPGs per L3 out

16

400

Number of L3 out

N/A

400

Bridge Domain

Maximum amount of BDs

1,750; if legacy mode, 3,500;

if Multicast optimized mode then 50

15,000

Maximum number of subnets per BD

16 (cannot be for all BDs)

16 per BD

Maximum number of EPGs per BD

3,499 (cannot exceed 3,500 total)

3,499 is supported in hardware but please refer to the per fabric scale for the effective software support for this release.

3,499

Number of L2 Outs per BD

1

1

Number of BDs with Custom MAC Address

1,750; if legacy mode, 3500;

If Multicast optimized mode is used, then 50

1,750; if legacy mode, 3,500;

If Multicast optimized mode is used, then 50

Number of Multicast groups

8,000

8,000

Maximum number of EPGs + L3 Outs per Multicast Group

128

128

Maximum number of BDs with L3 Multicast enabled

1750

1750

Maximum number of VRFs with L3 Multicast enabled

64

64

Maximum number of L3 Outs per BD

4

N/A

Number of DHCP relay labels per BD

2

2

DHCP relay for secondary subnets in a BD

No

No

Number of external EPGs per L2 out

1

1

Maximum number of PIM Neighbors

1,000

1,000

Maximum number of PIM Neighbors per VRF

64

64

Endpoint Groups (Under App Profiles)

Maximum amount of EPGs

Normally 1,750; if legacy mode 3,500

15,000

Maximum amount of encaps per EPG

1 Static leaf binding, plus 10 Dynamic VMM

N/A

Maximum Path encap binding per EPG

Equals to number of ports on the leaf

N/A

Maximum amount of encaps per EPG per port

One (path or leaf binding)

N/A

Maximum number of domains (physical, L2, L3)

  • 10 static (L2, L3, physical)

  • 10 dynamic

N/A

Maximum number of VMM domains

  • 50 vDS

  • 5 AVS

N/A

Maximum amount of native encaps

  • 1 per port (if a VLAN is used as a native VLAN)

  • If there is a different native VLAN per port then it equals the number of ports

Applicable to each leaf independently

Maximum amount of 802.1p encaps

  • 1, if path binding then equals number of ports

  • If there is a different native VLAN per port then it equals the number of ports

Applicable to each leaf independently

Can encap be tagged and untagged?

No

N/A

Maximum number of Static endpoints per EPG

Maximum endpoints

N/A

Maximum number of Subnets for Inter-context access per tenant

50

N/A

Maximum number of Taboo Contracts per EPG

2

N/A

IP-based EPG

4,000

N/A

Contracts

Security TCAM size

  • 4,000 (for ALE v1)

  • 32,000 (for ALE v2)

Note 
For TOR to ALE mapping, see the reference table below.

N/A

Approximate TCAM calculator given contracts and their use by EPGs

Number of entries in a contract X Number of Consumer EPGs X Number of Provider EPGs X 2

N/A

Maximum number of EPGs providing the same contract

10

10

Maximum number of EPGs consuming the same contract

10

10

FEX VPC

Maximum EPGs behind FEX VPC port

20

N/A

FCoE

Maximum number of VSAN

16

N/A

Maximum number of VFC

16

N/A

Maximum number of FDISC per port

96

N/A

Maximum number of FDISC per SB

96

N/A

ALE Type

ACI-Supported TORs

ALE v1

  • N9K-C9396PX + N9K-M12PQ

  • N9K-C93128TX + N9K-M12PQ

  • N9K-C9396TX + N9K-M12PQ

ALE v2

  • N9K-C9396TX + N9K-M6PQ

  • N9K-C93128TX + N9K-M6PQ

  • N9K-C9396PX + N9K-M6PQ

  • N9K-C9372TX 64K

  • N9K-C9332PQ

  • N9K-C9372PX

Multiple Fabric Options Scalability Limits

Configurable Options

Per Leaf Scale

Per Fabric Scale

Stretched Fabric

Maximum number of fabrics that can be a stretched fabric

N/A

3

Maximum number of Route Reflectors

N/A

6

Multi-Pod

Maximum number of PODs

N/A

4

Maximum number of nodes per POD

N/A

200

Maximum number of leaves overall

N/A

300

VMM Scalability Limits

Configurable Options

Per Leaf Scale

Per Fabric Scale

VMware

Number of vCenters (vDS)

N/A

50 (Verified with a load of 10 events/minute for each vCenter)

Number of vCenters (AVS)

N/A

10

Datacenters in a vCenter

N/A

2

Total number of (VMM domain, VMM controller (vCenter/vShield)) instances

N/A

  • 50 vDS

  • 10 AVS

Number of ESX hosts per AVS

240

N/A

Number of EPGs per vCenter/vDS

N/A

5,000

Number of EPGs to VMware domans/vDS

N/A

5,000

Number of EPGs per vCenter/AVS

N/A

3,500

Number of EPGs to VMware domains/AVS

N/A

3,500

Number of endpoints (EPs) per AVS

10,000

10,000

Number of endpoints per vDS

10,000

10,000

Number of endpoints per vCenter

10,000

10,000

Support RBAC for AVS

N/A

Yes

Support RBAC for vDS

N/A

Yes

Microsegmentation/DFW with AVS

Number of ESX hosts per AVS

100

N/A

Number of Microsegment EPGs

1,000

N/A

Number of DFW flows per vEth

10,000

N/A

Number of DFW denied and permitted flows per ESX host

250,000

N/A

Number of VMM domains per Microsegment EPG

N/A

10

Microsoft

Number of controllers per SCVMM domain

N/A

5

Number of SCVMM domains

N/A

5

EPGs per Microsoft VMM domain

N/A

3,000

EPGs per all Microsoft VMM domains

N/A

9,000

EP/VNICs per HyperV host

N/A

100

EP/VNICs per SCVMM

N/A

3,000

Number of logical switch per host

N/A

1

Number of uplinks per logical switch

N/A

4

Number of Windows Azure Pack subscriptions

N/A

1,000

Number of plans per Windows Azure Pack instance

N/A

150

Number of users per plan

N/A

200

Number of subscriptions per user

N/A

3

VM networks per Windows Azure Pack user

N/A

100

VM networks per Windows Azure Pack instance

N/A

3,000

Number of tenant shared services/providers

N/A

40

Number of consumers of shared services

N/A

40

Number of VIPs (Citrix)

N/A

50

Number of VIPs (F5)

N/A

50

Microsoft microsegmentation

1,000

N/A

Layer 4 - Layer 7 Scalability Limits

Configurable Options

(L4-L7 Configurations)

Per Leaf Scale

Per Fabric Scale

Maximum number of L4-L7 logical device clusters

N/A

1,500

Maximum number of graph instances

N/A

1,000

Maximum number of VIPs per graph instance

N/A

1

Number of device clusters per tenant

N/A

30

Number of interfaces per device cluster

N/A

Any

Number of graph instances per device cluster

N/A

100

Deployment scenario for ASA (transparent or routed)

N/A

Yes

Deployment scenario for Citrix - One arm with SNAT/etc.

N/A

Yes

Deployment scenario for F5 - One arm with SNAT/etc.

N/A

Yes

AD, TACACS, RBAC Scalability Limits

Configurable Options

Per Leaf Scale

Per Fabric Scale

Number of ACS/AD/LDAP authorization domains

N/A

4 tested (16 maximum /server type)

Number of login domains

N/A

15 (can go beyond)

Number of security domains/APIC

N/A

15 (can go beyond)

Number of security domains in which the tenant resides

N/A

4 (can go beyond)

Number of priority

N/A

4 tested (16 per domain)

Number of shell profiles that can be returned

N/A

4 tested (32 domains total)

Number of users

N/A

8,000 local / 8,000 remote

Number of simultaneous logins

N/A

500 connections / NGNIX simultaneous REST logins

QoS Scalability Limits

The table below shows QoS scale limits. The scale numbers depend on whether remote leafs are present in the topology as well as MPOD QoS Policy and CoS Preservation settings.

QoS Scale

MPOD QoS Policy enabled

Custom QOS Policy with DSCP

9

Custom QOS Policy with DSCP and Dot1P

9

Custom QOS Policy with Dot1P

48

Custom QOS Policy via a Contract

48

CoS Preservation enabled

Custom QOS Policy with DSCP

9

Custom QOS Policy with DSCP and Dot1P

9

Custom QOS Policy with Dot1P

48

Custom QOS Policy via a Contract

48