Connecting an FC Storage Array to a Native FC port on Nexus 5K or UCS 6100

Answered Question
Mar 19th, 2010

Hi,

Can anyone please confirm this:

Connecting an FC Storage Array directly to the FC NAtive ports of the UCS or Nexus 5K (and not through an MDS or Brocade switch) is supported and requires FC-SW mode and not NPV mode:

For Nexus 5K: It can run in FC-SW mode or NPV mode (but not at the same time). In FC-SW mode, it’s like a full featured Cisco MDS FC switch, so we can connect the FC storage array directly to it, but with the limitation of having only one VSAN (as Inter VSAN Routing (IVR) is not supported)-

For UCS 6100: Now in case of UCS 6100 Fabric interconnect switch, we cannot directly connect the FC storage array to its native FC ports, it won't work at all, since the UCS 6100 only runs in NPV mode (no FC-SW mode supported, like the Nexus 5K), the FC port on the 6100 Fabric interconnect only supports connections to existing SAN (FC Switch) and not direct connections to a single FC Storage array.

Thank you

Michel

Correct Answer by Robert Burns about 6 years 11 months ago

In short - yes.  The Nexus in FC Switch mode is very similar in features as an MDS.  There will be some enhancements added in the next software/hardware releases that will expand on existing features such as F-Port trunking, mutli-hop FCoE etc.  You might not go out and replace all your existing brocade/MDS devices in your datacenter, but you certainly can start with the N5K and expand as needed.  Makes a great unit for a lab incorporating both FC and 10G switching in one devices.

Robert

Correct Answer by Anonymous about 6 years 11 months ago

UCS is a big host.  The fabric interconnects are not switches, though you _could_ run them in Switch Mode, you really shouldn't.

You wouldn't connect an FC array to a fabric interconnect just like you wouldn't connect an FC array to a host.  Lots of FC reasons for this regarding fabric logins, zoning etc.

Everyone is connecting the 6100 to MDS or Brocade.

Correct Answer by masennott about 6 years 11 months ago

I can confirm (from experience) that you cannot connect a storage array directly

to the 6100s - exactly for the reason you state in your question - the 6100 cannot act as an FC switch.

I have heard from our pre-sales engineer that you can use a N5k to do the FC switching, but haven't had a chance to try it yet.

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Correct Answer
masennott Fri, 03/19/2010 - 07:10

I can confirm (from experience) that you cannot connect a storage array directly

to the 6100s - exactly for the reason you state in your question - the 6100 cannot act as an FC switch.

I have heard from our pre-sales engineer that you can use a N5k to do the FC switching, but haven't had a chance to try it yet.

Correct Answer
stechamb Fri, 03/19/2010 - 11:13

UCS is a big host.  The fabric interconnects are not switches, though you _could_ run them in Switch Mode, you really shouldn't.

You wouldn't connect an FC array to a fabric interconnect just like you wouldn't connect an FC array to a host.  Lots of FC reasons for this regarding fabric logins, zoning etc.

Everyone is connecting the 6100 to MDS or Brocade.

mta2891974 Sun, 03/21/2010 - 01:33

Thank you,

it's clear now for the UCS.

what about the Nexus 5K? can we connect a Storage Array directly to it?

can the Nexus 5K replace a borcade or MDS switch? specially that we have a 12,000$ storage license for the Nexus 5K!!

N5010-SSK9Nexus 5010 Storage Protocols Services License
Correct Answer
Robert Burns Sun, 03/21/2010 - 02:19

In short - yes.  The Nexus in FC Switch mode is very similar in features as an MDS.  There will be some enhancements added in the next software/hardware releases that will expand on existing features such as F-Port trunking, mutli-hop FCoE etc.  You might not go out and replace all your existing brocade/MDS devices in your datacenter, but you certainly can start with the N5K and expand as needed.  Makes a great unit for a lab incorporating both FC and 10G switching in one devices.

Robert

gikabutha Mon, 06/21/2010 - 02:19

Thanks Rob for that, i have a scenario whereby i have an IBM Blade center fully populated with 10 blades and a   BNT Virtual Fabric 10G Switch Module (10-port).on the other end i have  one EMC clarion CX120  that requires 4 FC ports. kindly advice whether it will be fine to connect the storage directly to the Nexus 5k. on the cisco config tool, i cannot find the part number for the FC ports also give me that.

cheers

Isaac

Nuno Filipe Alv... Mon, 06/21/2010 - 02:34

Isaac,

   You can connect a EMC Clarrion CX 120 directly to the Nexus 5k. You will have to acquire the expansion module with FC Ports.

     You can choose from one (or more) of these 2:

N5K-M1404N5000 1000 Series Mod 4x10GE 4xFC 4/2/1G(req SFP+/SFP)

N5K-M1008N5000 1000 Series Module 8xFC 4/2/1 G (req SFP)

Cheers

Nuno Ferreira

      

gikabutha Wed, 08/11/2010 - 03:47

can someone explain this clearly to me...

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/solutions/Enterprise/Data_Center/Virtualization/securecldg.html

the design guide above recommends that i use a nexus 5k to aggregate the the fabric interconnects. i thought the UCS 6120 is sufficient enough to connect the storage MDS's and also to connect to the 7k aggregation switch.

if i decide not to use the Nexus 5k in my access layer and connect the MDS's to the expansion modules in the fabric interconnects and also have the fabric interconnects uplink directly to the Nexus 7k, what features do i stand to loose out on. or rather, if i incorporate the Nexus 5k between the fabric interconnects and the Nexus 7k, does it give me a more scalable solution and how??

also see attached design with no nexus 5k recommended by cisco

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