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SFP+ HP server connection to Cisco Switch.

Posted on 2014-01-03
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Last Modified: 2014-01-16
We got a new server (HP DL380p) with 2 additional SFP + ports, which I now wanted to connect to a Cisco Catalyst 2960S-24PD-L. In addition I had a HP DAC cable (HP X242 SFP +) in stock.

However, this does not work, even though the Cisco switch should support DAC-cables to the SFP + port.

Is this cable not suitable (only for connections between two HP switches)?
Are there any vendor-specific differences?
DAC was our first choice because of cost-reasens, is optical cabling better?
Can you tell me what components are safe?

Thank you
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Question by:Morphill
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vyaradaikin earned 250 total points
ID: 39753427
Cisco by default understand only Cisco-programmed transceivers. Use "service unsupported-transceiver" command and you can overcome the problem. Although Cisco does not support such a connection. So it can work or it can not work. In other cases you can use third-party optical transceivers with command i mentioned above. So you can try cheap optical transceivers if your DAC won't work.
And it is always safer to use Cisco-compatible hardware
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Expert Comment

by:Jordan Medlen
ID: 39753772
In addition to the "service unsupported-transceiver" command that vyaradaikin stated above, I also use "no errdisable detect cause gbic-invalid". Both of these typically allow for use of non-Cisco SFP/SFP+ modules. I have found on a few occasions where those commands did not work for a particular SFP, however I cannot remember off the top of my head now what brand/model it was.
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Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
ID: 39757692
How long is your cable?  I 'think' Cisco switches only support passive copper cables up-to 5m.  If you want to go longer than that you need an active twinax cable.
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Author Comment

by:Morphill
ID: 39779005
Sorry for the late reply, was unfortunately one week out of action.

It is a WS-C2960S-24PD-L and according to the compatibility list in the meantime I bought this 3m cable from cisco and it works flawlessly.

Nevertheless, I've tried it with the 3m HP cable and I get the following log entry, even though I enter the commands mentioned above:

  % GBIC_SECURITY_CRYPT-4-VN_DATA_CRC_ERROR: GBIC in port Te1/0/1 Has bad crc
  % PHY-4-SFP_PLUS_NOT_SUPPORTED: The SFP PLUS in Te1/0/1 is not supported

Did I miss something or is this cable definitive unsupported?
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Expert Comment

by:vyaradaikin
ID: 39779121
Switch will log this anyway, but you must check operability. Check show int ten1/0/1. If it up or down? What type of equipment on the other side of the link? is it up?
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Author Comment

by:Morphill
ID: 39784754
On the other side there is a HP Server DL380p G8 with a HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 530SFP+ Adapter

Both are down.

SW5#show int ten1/0/2
TenGigabitEthernet1/0/2 is down, line protocol is down (notconnect)
  Hardware is Ten Gigabit Ethernet, address is 2037.0638.3a1c (bia 2037.0638.3a1c)
  MTU 1500 bytes, BW 10000000 Kbit/sec, DLY 10 usec,
     reliability 255/255, txload 1/255, rxload 1/255
  Encapsulation ARPA, loopback not set
  Keepalive not set
  Full-duplex, 10Gb/s, link type is auto, media type is unknown
  input flow-control is off, output flow-control is unsupported
  ARP type: ARPA, ARP Timeout 04:00:00
  Last input never, output never, output hang never
  Last clearing of "show interface" counters never
  Input queue: 0/75/0/0 (size/max/drops/flushes); Total output drops: 0
  Queueing strategy: fifo
  Output queue: 0/40 (size/max)
  5 minute input rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
  5 minute output rate 0 bits/sec, 0 packets/sec
     0 packets input, 0 bytes, 0 no buffer
     Received 0 broadcasts (0 multicasts)
     0 runts, 0 giants, 0 throttles
     0 input errors, 0 CRC, 0 frame, 0 overrun, 0 ignored
     0 watchdog, 0 multicast, 0 pause input
     0 input packets with dribble condition detected
     0 packets output, 0 bytes, 0 underruns
     0 output errors, 0 collisions, 1 interface resets
     0 unknown protocol drops
     0 babbles, 0 late collision, 0 deferred
     0 lost carrier, 0 no carrier, 0 pause output
     0 output buffer failures, 0 output buffers swapped out


After a long search I was unable to find out whether the HP cable (j9283b) is really active or passive.
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Expert Comment

by:vyaradaikin
ID: 39785024
You can check if the cable is operable with enabling both ends in the cisco switch int tengigabit interfaces, but configuring different unused vlans on this ports before. if it is both up then check the problem on server end. It could be some specific configuration must be made on the server side to use with such connection. Check the server port with 100% working optic SFP for example.
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Author Comment

by:Morphill
ID: 39785043
On server end I have tested the 2 ports with a loop and also with a nas (Emulex OCe11102-N  10 GbE). Both functions well.

Meanwhile I bought a Cisco DAC passiv (Cisco SFP-H10GB-CU3M) that also functions without problems.

and therefore the problem is no longer as great as at the beginning.
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Expert Comment

by:vyaradaikin
ID: 39785055
So you have working connection now? Did you try cisco cable with hp server?
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Author Comment

by:Morphill
ID: 39785772
yes, no problems, the cisco cable funktions everywhere (server 2 nas, server 2 switch,...)
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Author Comment

by:Morphill
ID: 39787764
Does anybody know if this HP cable (j9283b) is active or passive?
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