Ethernet Fabric (VDX, CNA)

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New Contributor
vcantrell
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎05-08-2012

Brocade 1020 SFP not supported

Hey all, - really sorry about my lack of knowledge in this particular topic. Here is my question: We had an Apple Xserve with which we used a Promise Vtrak E Class Raid SAN. It connected to our Xserve via two 4Gbs Fibre-Channel SFP connections.

We just recently bought a new Dell PowerEdge R410 with which I had a Brocade 1020 factory installed by dell as it was the only fiber card that seemed to match the form factor of our SAN's SFP. Got the server (server 2008 R2 installed) and installed all the management software for the brocade card, and yet when I plug in the two SFPs into the Brocade 1020, the logical disk doesn't appear. The master log for the Brocade card finds the SFP (it says "New SFP Found: WWN/MAC = (the mac address)" and then the next output in the log is "Unsupported SFP Found: WWN/MAC = (same mac)"

I guess my question here is what how messed up is this situation? I've been reading online that Brocade cards only work with brocade branded SFPs. I'm unclear as to whether or not that means I need different fiber cables between the SAN and the server, or whether the 1020 will just in no way work with the SAN. - I realize that the Vtrak E class is a Macintosh SAN, but it does say on Promise's website that the E class will work with a windows sever as well.

I'm feeling slightly lost and any insight is more than welcome.

Best,

Vince

Trusted Contributor
TechHelp24
Posts: 3,699
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: Brocade 1020 SFP not supported

Brocade 1020 is CNA = Converged Network Adapter.

Have you connected to CNA Capable Switch or to Standard FC / SAN  switch Port ?

TechHelp24
New Contributor
vcantrell
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎05-08-2012

Re: Brocade 1020 SFP not supported

I simply unplugged the 4Gbps SFP Apple Fiber Cable from the back of the Xserve and plugged it into the Brocade 1020. The datasheet on the promise Vtrak SAN says

"Dual 4Gb Fibre Channel ports; One external 3Gb/s 4x wide SAS port for expansion."

If it's not a CNA Capable device, am I still able to connect my SAN to our new dell server with the Brocade 1020, or am I completely out of luck?

Trusted Contributor
TechHelp24
Posts: 3,699
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: Brocade 1020 SFP not supported

follow this URL here can you find some specification about 1020 CNA

http://www.brocade.com/products/all/adapters/index.page


TechHelp24
New Contributor
vcantrell
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎05-08-2012

Re: Brocade 1020 SFP not supported

I appreciate the link and I realize what a CNA is, what I'm unclear about is how to make it interface with my SAN, which has regular fiber out.

Community Manager
Brook Reams
Posts: 255
Registered: ‎05-12-2010

Re: Brocade 1020 SFP not supported

Good Afternoon Vince,

Well, I think the answer is you don't have the correct adaptor in the server for the storage device :-(

The 1020 adaptor series requires a 10 GE Ethernet port in the storage array that speaks "FCoE". The 1020 adaptor transports FCoE frames, but that means the frames are 10 GE Ethernet frames. The server and storage ports must not only be a 10 GE Ethernet ports, but they also must understand the Ethernet DCB extensions (802.1Qaz, 802.1Qbb in particular), which provide "lossless" transport of Ethernet frames. The storage array you have does not have an Ethernet port, but a native Fibre Channel port.

Any of the Brocade Fibre Channel adaptors are examples of server adaptors that speak native Fibre Channel and maybe suitable for connecting your array via a Fibre Channel switch. http://www.brocade.com/products/all/adapters/product-details/415-425-815-825-fibre-channel-hba/index...

But you don't mention if you are using a Fibre Channel switch or not, and there are differences in "direct attach" vs. "switched" Fibre Channel when looking at Fibre Channel adaptors.

That said,  I'm not certain if the storage array you have will work correctly with the Brocade native fibre channel adaptors when they are connected to a Fibre Channel switch as sometimes the storage array vendors interpret the switched Fibre Channel standards in unique ways.

I believe there is an interoperability matrix that you can look at.

http://www.brocade.com/downloads/documents/interoperability/Brocade-HBA-CNA-Interoperability-Matrix....

I hope this helps.

Best.

Brook Reams

New Contributor
vcantrell
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎05-08-2012

Re: Brocade 1020 SFP not supported

Thank you so much Brook for your response. It shed a lot of light on what I'm dealing with.

The connection between the SAN and the server is indeed direct attach, with no switch. I would then need a fiber card that spoke native fibre channels, correct? The only thing that confuses me here and confused me when I purchased this card, is the fact that the ports coming out of the back of the SAN are Mini Gbic ports, and the Brocade 425 that we would need are LC. Would I then need  Mini Gbic to LC adapters for our SAN?

I appreciate the answers. I'm trying to make sure I have it right this time around before trying to swap the parts out with dell.

Thanks,

Vince

Community Manager
Brook Reams
Posts: 255
Registered: ‎05-12-2010

Re: Brocade 1020 SFP not supported

Hi Vince,

The specifications

http://www.brocade.com/products/all/adapters/product-details/415-425-815-825-fibre-channel-hba/speci...

indicate that the Fibre Channel adaptors do support "point-to-point" connection (as in no Fibre Channel switch between the server and the storage array) as stated in the "Topology" section

The specifications also indicate SFP (4 Gbps 4xx series) or SFP+ (8 Gbps 8xx series), so it sounds like you need a way to connect SFP or SFP+ on the server end to mini-Gbic on the storage end.  I'm not very smart about cable options, so I don't know what to advise you about what kind of cable to order. I'm hopeful there are cables that use different connectors on each end.

I hope this helps. And, sorry to hear you had some problems with getting the correct adaptor.


Best.

Brook Reams.

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