HBAs for Cisco C220 M3 connection with NetApp FAS2200 SAS interface

sk391
sk391 used Ask the Experts™
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Hello, does anyone know if the Cisco C220 M3 rack servers can take a SAS HBA expansion card which will enable them to connect with a FAS2220 SAS 6Gb interface? If so, which is the part number?
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AbhilashBlogger

Commented:
You will get 4Gb, 8Gb and 16Gb HBA cards.
Check the below spec sheet
http://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/servers-unified-computing/ucs-b-series-blade-servers/C220M3_SFF_SpecSheet.pdf

See page number 31 and 32.

Author

Commented:
Thank you but these PCI cards seem to be FC, not SAS unfortunately :/

The FAS2220 has SAS 6 GB/s ports built-in and i was hoping I could leverage these, to give us  3x the bandwidth of Etherchannel GbE..

NetApp rear
AbhilashBlogger
Commented:
Those components were straight out of the Server's datasheet.
I think it has all the list of cards. You could contact Cisco once and get an official confirmation but i think only ones which are listed will be supported. And it would be FC.

But Again, Get a confirmation from Cisco.

In Flexpod they use C220M3 servers with FAS2220 but they are interconnected through the Nexus switch.
https://communities.netapp.com/docs/DOC-19837
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Top Expert 2014
Commented:
This has C220 M3s directly connected to FAS2220 - www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/unified_computing/ucs/UCS_CVDs/flexpod_hadoop_cloudera.html

"NetApp recommends creating datanode servers on the E-Series array at a ratio of four nodes to one E5460 array, with each node having a single SAS path to one of the storage array controllers."

(I suspect that's because if they recommended more than 4 nodes connected to the storage they would need SAS switches and they're not easy to come by although LSI make one)

It also says "*LSI SAS 9200-8e HBA can be replaced with LSI SAS 9207-8e HBA." so that gives you a choice of two SAS HBAs that seem to be supported.

Hmm, hadn't looked at the FAS2220 SAS host connectivity before, seems the SAS ports can be either used for back-end disk shelves of front-end host connectivity. Not sure if that's clever or not since others offer two back-end SAS ports plus 4 front-end SAS host ports, limited use since it limits you to two computer nodes if you want high availability throughout.

Author

Commented:
Thanks andyalder, in our use case the two hosts limit is not a problem because it's a small vmware cluster setup. very interesting info the one you found..

if this doesn't work we will have to use the 2x 4GbE NIC's, and possibly through etherchannel connect them to the 2960 Cisco switch stack...
Top Expert 2014
Commented:
Cisco are really into the business of selling switches, aren't they.

For their two node small FlexPod Express VMware setup they send the iSCSI ports through a switch even though you have four iSCSI ports on each controller on the FAS2220. It's just a waste of switch ports, even using iSCSI I'd cable them direct rather than let Cisco make more money selling you unneeded switch ports. Not sure at all about using EtherChannel, with iSCSI you normally let the native multipath deal with redundancy and load-balancing. Maybe it's using NFS though.

Author

Commented:
Yes I see what you mean, and the Nexus "certified" switches for the flexpods are really driving the price up, so we didnt see the value in this, and we only went for the plain C220 + FAS2220 offering.

Maybe they are doing it with expansion in mind, technically you could have four rack servers in the "medium" flexpod config.

We were thinking about implementing pure NFS for the datastores because it's very reliable with VMware, but we'll see!

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