Ethernet Switches & Routers

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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-25-2009

ICX6650 and Dell PowerEdge R720xd

I'm having the strangest issue with a new ICX6650 I'm setting up as a top-of-rack switch with a bunch of Dell PowerEdge R720xd servers. Some ports simply don't establish a link (not even the link LED illuminates). Swapping SFP cables and servers around showed that the issue is specific to particular switch ports; they simply refuse to work regardless of the server or cable connected.

After mucking about with speed/duplex, disabling/enabling affected ports, erasing config, reloading, etc the problem persists. And yes the ports are licensed.

I explained the issue to Brocade and they sent me a replacement switch. The trouble is, it's doing exactly the same thing except on different ports to the first one. There is no particular pattern to the 'failed' ports; they are scattered all along the available range and in both cases about 15-20% of them don't work which is a pretty high failure rate in my books.

Out of desperation I connected the two switches together via a 'failed' port on each one and it suddenly works perfectly. This is no matter which port I use, and with the exact same cables I have been using for the servers.

The cables are all Cisco 10G SFP+ twinax types (as supplied with the servers). I can substitute these with a 1G multimode fibre SFP and then the affected ports work fine once I configure the speed/duplex appropriately.

For various reasons I can't paste my usual config here but needless to say this still happens on a completely vanilla switch. I manage a number of Foundry/Brocade 1G switches (including ICX series) and have never encountered anything like this before.

I don't have any other 10G gear I can use to test this so thought I'd ask here before ordering more equipment to test with. Has anyone else encountered anything like this?

Brocadian
Posts: 152
Registered: ‎10-05-2010

Re: ICX6650 and Dell PowerEdge R720xd

Brocade switches do not work with Cisco 'passive' twinax cables. You need to use Brocade 'active' twinax cables (you should check if the server NIC is compatible with this) or 10G-SFPP-USR/10G-SFPP-SR optics.

Thanks,

Sharan

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-25-2009

Re: ICX6650 and Dell PowerEdge R720xd

Thanks for the quick reply Sharan! I've ordered some Brocade active cables and I'll see how that goes.

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎06-25-2009

Re: ICX6650 and Dell PowerEdge R720xd

Just as a further note, I can't find any information in the Brocade literature about compatibility with passive versus active cables. If someone could point me to where this is stated I'd really appreciate that.

Brocadian
Posts: 152
Registered: ‎10-05-2010

Re: ICX6650 and Dell PowerEdge R720xd

Hi Jeremy,

It is published in the ICX 6650 hardware reference guide.

http://www.brocade.com/downloads/documents/product_manuals/B_FastIron/ICX6650_07500_InstallGuide.pdf

The Brocade ICX 6650 supports the following transceivers and cables:

1 GbE

     • SX

     • LX

     • Copper

10 GbE

     • SFP+: USR, Short Reach, Long Reach

     • Active Twinax copper (1 meter, 3 meter, and 5 meter)

40 GbE

     • Standard 40 GbE transceiver without breakout

     • 40 GbE QSFP+ transceiver with breakout to 4x10 GbE up to 100 meter on OM3 fiber

     • 40 GbE copper breakout (1 meter, 3 meter, and 5 meter)

Non-branded active twinax cables can be used, but Brocade does not support them.

Thanks,

Sharan

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