Cisco nV Technology

Cisco nV allows you to simplify operations and deployment of new services across different boundaries in a Service Provider network. But what is exactly this technology? It’s a single logical switch/router built by interconnecting an ASR9K and one or more smaller satellite switches. This switches act as a remote line cards, they are provisioned in ASR9K (called Host).



nV Edge Overview



nV System Overview


  • Control plane extension: Active RSP and standby RSP are on the different chassis,
    they sync up via external EOBC links “AS IF” they are in the same physical chassis
  • Data plane extension: bundle regular data links into special “nV fabric link” to simulate
    switch fabric function between two physical chassis to data packet across
  • No dedicated fabric chassis -> flexible co-located or different location deployment (No distance limitation)

nV Satellite


  • All Satellite Configuration is done on the Host (zero touch)
  • nV Satellite can greatly simplify access and aggregation networks
  • Support flexible access and agg network topologies
  • Satellite is a remote line card: Access ports have feature parity with ASR9K local ports
  • nV Satellite interface naming follows the same local interface naming convention:sat-ID / sat-slot / sat-bay / sat-port

Control Plane

Discovery Phase

  • CDP like protocol to discover Satellites
  • Heartbeat sent every second to detect failures

Control Phase

  • Inter-process Communication Channel (TCP socket)


On Satellite

  • Add nV-Tag to frames before forward to Edge

On the Host

  • Receive Frames with nV-Tag identifies Satellite Virtual Interface

Satellite Deployment Models

Mode 1: Static pinning (Any access ports could be mapped to any single fabric port.)

Mode 2:Fabric bundle (access ports are mapped to a fabric bundle)

Satellite Types: asr9000v, asr901, asr903


nV Satellite L2fabric, Ring Topologies

Since XR 5.1.1

  • Extending satellite connection across a Layer 2 network
  • A native 802.1Q tag is added to the Satellite-Host control and data plane protocol
  • Expanding to support ring, & cascaded topologies
  • Maintains the same plug & play operationalsimplicity
  • CFM/CCM used for fast failure detection*

* CFM/CCM for simple ring and cascading will be in future releases



BRKARC-2024 – Cisco ASR 9000 nV Technology and Deployment (2014 San Francisco)

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