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This document describes how to address the "FWM-2-STM_LOOP_DETECT" error message in

the log of a Nexus 5000 switch.

What do you do when a Nexus 5000 switch displays the

"FWM-2-STM_LOOP_DETECT" message in the log?
This message indicates that the switch receives frames with the same source MAC address on
these two interfaces and that the swtich learns the same MAC address on these interfaces at a
very high speed. The switch detects this as a loop. The switch disables MAC address learning in
order to protect its control plane. This is implemented on all VLANs even if the loop occurred on
only one VLAN.

Possible Causes

●MAC addresses move because of incorrect Spanning Tree Protocol (STP)-port state
●MAC addresses move because the source of the data is physically moved across all switches
while STP states are converged and in correct states.
●MAC addresses can move between interfaces if the server Network Interface Cards (NICs)
are configured for teaming/bonding, but the connected switch interfaces are not. This can be
avoided if you use Link Aggregation Control Protocol (
How is the loop actually detected?

Forwarding Manager (FWM) has a mechanism to count the number of MAC-move-backs and
weigh them based on the number of times the MAC address moves. It determines the total MAC-
move-backs count (switch-wide across all VLANs, MACs, and interfaces), declares the %FWM-2-
STM_LOOP_DETECT, and disables learning to protect FWM in loopy conditions.

Threshold Math: 28,000 MAC move-backs count in a given aging scan period of 10 seconds
switch-wide. It is declared as %FWM-2-STM_LOOP_DETECT and learning is disabled.

Example Messages

The logic for MAC-move notifications should be noted. It is possible to notify MAC-moves when
the MAC-address-table notification for MAC-moves is enabled. This adds notification logs on the
console but no action is taken. A move is declared when a given MAC address has moved three
times back and forth across a given pair of ports on a VLAN within an aging scan period of 10


You can enable MAC-move notification on the switch to find out which MAC addresses move.

Nexus-5000# conf t
Nexus-5000(config)# mac address-table notification mac-move
With Nexus 5000 switches, it is not always sufficient to enable the MAC-move notification in order
to generate a syslog message about MAC-move notification.

In order to ensure syslog message generation, enter these commands in conjunction with the
previous command.

Nexus-5000# conf t
Nexus-5000(config)# Logging level spanning-tree 6
Nexus-5000(config)# Logging level fwm 6
Nexus-5000(config)# Logging monitor 6
The addition of these commands ensures that the syslog for FWM detect displays when there is a
MAC address move.

In order to verify the STP port state across VLANs on the switches, enter these commands.

Nexus-5000# show spanning-tree

Nexus-5000# show spanning-tree vlan <id>
Nexus-5000# show spanning-tree internal interaction

In order to check if MAC addresses move, enter this command:

Nexus-5000# show mac address-table notification mac-move

MAC Move Notify Triggers: 1206
Number of MAC Addresses added: 944088
Number of MAC Addresses moved: 265
Number of MAC Addresses removed: 943920
MAC address moves are also logged with a minimum logging level of six required to display which
MAC addresses move.

Nexus-5000# show mac address-table notification mac-move

MAC Move Notify Triggers: 1206
Number of MAC Addresses added: 944088
Number of MAC Addresses moved: 265
Number of MAC Addresses removed: 943920

● Check for a correct STP convergence and for STP port-states across all switches in the
topography. Also confirm that there are no disputes or incorrect port states.
● If the source of the data frames that are physically moving is identified, control the source in
order to halt rapid and continuous moves.
● By default, dynamic learning is reenabled after 180 seconds. At that point, any STP disputes
or inconsistencies should be resolved. If not, the dynamic learning is disabled again.
Related Enhancement on the Nexus 5000 Switch

Cisco bug ID CSCug28099 - Enh: Knob to Disbable ports after loop is detected on the Nexus

The current behavior on earlier code (pre - 6.0(2)N2(1)) is described here.

When loop messages (FWM-2-STM_LOOP_DETECT: Loops detected in the network among ports
<port_id> and <po_id> vlan >vlan_id> - Disabling dynamic learn notifications for 180 seconds) are
detected, after 120 seconds of loop detection you should rapid age out all the MAC addresses and
then relearn them rather than aging the whole MAC address table. Due to this behavior you will
not learn the new MAC addresses for 120 seconds, but if the loop is consistently present it can
cause significant impact to the network as you would rapid age the MAC addresses from all

This enhancement is filed in order to have a CLI knob where after a loop is detected, the switch
shut downs the port in question (the port where the loop is detected) in order to avoid complete

Here are the commands that are implemented in the code in Versions 6.0(2)N2(1) and later:

swo2-371(config)# mac address-table loop-detect ?

port-down Take port-down action for mac loop detection

swo2-371(config)# mac address-table loop-detect port-down

swo2-371(config)# no mac address-table loop-detect port-down