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Will these 2 10 Gig cards work okay with one another?

Posted on 2012-04-06
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Last Modified: 2012-04-17
I am wanting to install 10 Gig into our SAN and one of our ESXi vNodes. I have confirmed on the HCL for both systems that the NICs below will work with the software. One is an Emulex brand and the other is an Intel brand. However, I was wondering if anyone could spot any reason that the Hardware would not work with one another. Both are using 10GBASE-SR short wave lasers with LC type connector as far as I can tell. I want to directly connect the 2 of them together as a point to point system. Directly from the SAN to the node with no switch in the way. Using a cable with 2 male LC connectors. Any reason this should not work? Here are the links to the products:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833106041

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833708014

I just wanted someone else to look over this since this is my first foray into the realm of 10 Gig. Given that they both are on the same connector and Ethernet type I see no reason a point to point should not work. What say you all?
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Question by:CCB-Tech
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3 Comments
 
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David earned 200 total points
ID: 37819686
Reality check time.  The answer depends on the firmware, drivers, BIOS, length, wavelength, GBICs, protocol mix, QoS settings, traffic, collision recovery, host overhead, among others.  At one extreme certain combinations will prevent data from passing from vendor I to E and vice-versa.  At the other, it works, but maybe all intel or all emulex is 10-50% faster.  

This is why they have "plug fests" and spend millions on interoperability labs.  This is par for the course, and we go through this with 100Mbit ethernet, 2Gbit fibre channel,  SAS, SATA, and everything else.   10Gbe is not mature enough for everything to work without a hitch.  My advice is to just standardize on something if you are going to be in charge of making it "work"  ... "well".   You will save yourself a lot of grief and not have to deal with fingerpointing if you go with single vendor.

Sorry, probably not what you wanted to hear, but real-world, the price to to all Intel or all Emulex is statistically insignificant compared to the cost to diagnose &  change if everything doesn't meet expectations.  You certainly won't be able to turn to either vendor if you have issues.

(Google interoperability test 10Gbit ethernet, and other permutations and you will see what is involved, if the above doesn't' scare you into just going single-vendor ;)
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by:eeRoot
eeRoot earned 50 total points
ID: 37822136
I see nothing wrong with those cards, but I would try to use a card that is officially supported for use, with your SAN and ESXi, by the SAN manufacturer.
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Author Closing Comment

by:CCB-Tech
ID: 37857675
Both were on their respective HCL's. I am happy to say that both function just fine! I do agree with a homogenous environment where possible, but in this case it was not. Thanks!
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