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Cisco UCS 5108 to Fabric Interconnect from catalyst connection to EMC VNX direct

Posted on 2013-11-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Hello EE,  we currently have a Cisco UCS 5108 with two Fabric Interconnects.  Currently this connects to a catalyst switch as we had stand alone hosts that needed to be able to iSCSI to our EMC VNX so we couldn't directly connect the EMC to the Fabric Interconnect.  Now that stand alone server is gone.  Is it best practice to directly connect the EMC to the Fabric Interconnect and if so any details on how to go about this and impact it may have?
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Question by:bergquistcompany
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by:Rodney Barnhardt
ID: 39647648
How are you connecting, iSCSI? Personally, we do all fiber and router through a Cisco 6548 in order to do zoning.
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by:bergquistcompany
ID: 39649073
Yes iSCSI and since we had 2 stand alone servers targeting the EMC we had to connect through the catalyst switch.  Now that we are all virtual on the UCS 5108 we can connect direct to the Fabric Interconnect but I'm trying to find if others connect direct or not and pros/cons
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by:Rodney Barnhardt
ID: 39649136
Sorry. I have only worked with fiber connections, no iSCSI, so my knowledge on iSCSI is limited.
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Duncan Meyers earned 500 total points
ID: 39649536
You can connect the VNX array to the UCS Fabric Interconnect ports - nop problem. But there are two things you must be aware of:
 - you will use two port licenses on the UCS FI (two per FI and per VNX Storage Processor)
 - you will not be able to access the array from anywhere upstream of the FIs so if you want to connect physical hosts or a backup server that's outside UCS, then you'll be out of luck.

The cost of Fabric Interconnect licenses is probably the most compelling reason not to do it. You may not need the licenses now, but you certainly will if you have to add a chassis.
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by:bergquistcompany
ID: 39651676
@ meyersd - Can you elaborate on the licenses as we are looking at adding a chassis so that would be very helpful to have clear.  Adding it I use 2 port licenses thus I am guessing I have limited licenses and how many does the new chassis need will I likely need more ports?
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by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 39652667
Whether or not you'll need more ports depends on your existing UCS config. Typically, youll use 2 ports per FI for every new chassis for normal workloads, or 4 ports per FI per chassis if you have very high bandwidth needs. Remember that one FI port = one license. The number of default licenses depends on which FIs you have: 6120, 6140, 6248 or 6296. You may have enough default port licenses for what you want to do.  Can you give me more information about your UCS - what FIs, how many chassis, how many blades, what uplinks you're using to the network core.

Given the costs and restrictions around connecting your array directly to UCS, I'd be inclined to leave the array connected exactly as it is.
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by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 39667832
Thanks! Glad I could help.
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