vSphere · June 20, 2023 0

Optimizing LLDP Visibility in VMware and Cisco ACI Integration

Introduction: Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is a valuable tool for discovering and exchanging information about neighboring network devices in a data center environment. When integrating VMware infrastructure with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), the visibility provided by LLDP is crucial for effective network management. However, issues may arise when the LLDP neighbor information on ACI leaf switches lacks clarity. In this article, we’ll explore steps to troubleshoot and enhance LLDP visibility in such scenarios.

  1. Verify LLDP Configuration on ESXi Hosts: Start by ensuring that LLDP is correctly configured on your VMware ESXi hosts. Navigate to the vSphere Client’s Networking section and confirm that LLDP is enabled.

  2. Check LLDP Settings on ACI Leaf Switches: Verify LLDP settings on ACI leaf switches. Confirm that LLDP is enabled and configured appropriately, including checking policies and timers.

  3. Update Firmware and Drivers: Keep your ESXi hosts and ACI switches up-to-date with the latest firmware and drivers. Updating to the latest software versions often resolves compatibility issues.

  4. LLDP MIB and OID Details: Investigate LLDP Management Information Base (MIB) details or Object Identifiers (OIDs) for more granular information. Refer to the documentation for your hardware and software for relevant OIDs.

  5. LLDP Visualization Tools: Consider employing LLDP visualization tools that present LLDP neighbor information in a user-friendly format. Third-party tools can interpret LLDP data, making it easier to understand.

  6. Check LLDP TLVs (Type, Length, Value): LLDP uses Type, Length, Value (TLV) structures to exchange information. Verify that the TLVs sent by ESXi hosts are correctly interpreted by ACI switches. Ensure support for any custom TLVs used by VMware.

  7. Log Analysis: Examine logs on ESXi hosts and ACI switches for LLDP-related errors or warnings. Logs can provide insights into communication issues.

  8. Packet Capture: Utilize packet capture tools to capture LLDP packets between ESXi hosts and ACI switches. Analyze the packets to identify anomalies or issues in LLDP communication.

  9. Vendor-Specific Information: Investigate vendor-specific LLDP TLVs. VMware or Cisco may have specific TLVs that offer additional information. Refer to product documentation for details.

  10. Consult Vendor Support: If issues persist, seek assistance from VMware and Cisco support. Their expertise can provide specific guidance based on your environment and configurations.


Effectively managing a virtualized infrastructure integrated with ACI requires robust LLDP visibility. By following these steps, you can troubleshoot and enhance LLDP information clarity, ensuring a smoother and more efficient network operation. Remember to proceed with caution, follow best practices, and leverage vendor support when needed.