MDS 9124 and long range connectivity

Unanswered Question
May 16th, 2007

I'm planning to implement MDS9124 in our SAN. Right now we need only local SAN inside one building. But there is a slight chance that in a future we'll need to connect to a remote site using FC ptorocol. The site is not too far away - 20 km or so. But Cisco offers only 10 km LW SFPs for MDS series switches.

I'm aware that there are LW SFPs for Ethernet equipment which allow to connect to sites up to 80 kilometers away. Are there similar options for MDS series? Or how that problem can be solved? FCIP or iSCSI is not an option.

Additional question: do I need to buy some software or licenses to use long range connectivity option? Less that 10 km? More that 10 km?

I have this problem too.
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dmcloon Thu, 05/17/2007 - 20:02

You can use a pair of CWDM SFPs. They support 80KM, no license required. Current CWDM SFPs can run at 1Gbps or 2Gbps FC.

lotosh Mon, 05/21/2007 - 03:40

Interesting idea. I'll take it into account. But I was not able to find compatibility matrix where appropriate CWDM SFP part numbers are listed. It seems those SFPs I've found are not compatible with 9124.

BTW do I need multiplexor modules to use along with CWDM SFPs? Or can I connect those SFPs directly to each other?

stephen2615 Thu, 05/17/2007 - 22:15

I am curious to why FCIP is not an option because this posting is obviously about SAN extension and possibly about data replication.


dmcloon Thu, 05/17/2007 - 23:44

Hi Stephen,

FCIP is not an option in this case as the 9124 is 24 x FC ports only.



stephen2615 Fri, 05/18/2007 - 02:08

Hi Dallas,

I know the 9124 and that it is FC only. Its just that the original poster said he was "planning" to use them. If he wanted the ability to do SAN extension, then perhaps the 9216i could be viewed as a better (if not slightly dearer upfront) option. FCIP is cheaper then native fibre as you don't need the infrastructure to support xWDM and you can do as much if you don't need the speed of native fibre. Eg, all our True Copy replication is currently in fibre but we only use about 30 Mbps at peak times.

I suppose I was just thinking out aloud.

So when are you coming down for that beer?


lotosh Sun, 05/20/2007 - 20:25


FCIP is not an option because it is too expensive. MDS9124 is cheap, so the full SAN will require 4 of them, and their cost along with all the options (including FMS licenses) will be 50 or 60K USD.

FCIP will require an installation of additional MDS9216i switches on both ends wich will cost apporx. 80K (140K or more in total). That's too expensive. Two Brocade 64ports SW4900 will cost ~110-120K, and they will be more manageable because there will be no need for ISLs. Yes they require special long range SFPs which are produced and sold by other vendors along with cheap SW200e on the other end, but the whole solution is cheaper and more simple.

So if're talking about FCIP, then Brocade SW4900 will be used instead of MDS9124, But I'm CCNA, so I'd prefer to use Cisco products. I know them much better than Brocade SW switches.

So, any other ideas? :)


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