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Cisco UCS with Tape Autoloader


He any one knows ,which tape autoloader solution is supported with cisco ucs. as im not seeing any HBAs in Cisco UCS other than FC and ISCSI .

in my solution i have cisco fabric interconnect (UCS-FI-6248UP) and also a standalone 1U server.

Tape autoloader with 8 Gbps Fibre Channel interface is Very Expensive comparing with SAS and SCSI . But unfortunately i couldn’t find any supported HBAs for SAS and SCSI interfaces in Cisco UCS server.

So please advise which will be the better option to use tape autoloader.

connecting the above tape autoloader directly to the Cisco Fabric Interconnect, as i have licensed port available in the Fabric interconnect.

or  use a cisco HBA (N2XX-AEPCI05) in standalone server to connect the autoloader.

please advise if you have any other suggestions for the tape autoloader to use as secondary backup solution with cisco UCS server

7 Replies 7



I might not answer your question.

I'm using single FI-6248UP with 2 port connected to Blade Chassis, 2 port connected to EMC storage using iSCSI, and 2 port using FC, 2 port connected to Dell storage server (using Intel X520 FCoE Adapter), 1 port connected to Autoloader Dell PowerVault TL2000 (FC LTO 5), and finaly 2 port to our Core (WS-C3750X-48TS-S).

Using VMware ESXi 5.1 I was able to detect the tape library from the vHBA attached to the blade servers. But VMware state that this is an unsupported configuration. Well, they were right. I got a very unstable connection, even with no traffic, until finally the connection was just dead (the TL no longer show in the Storage Adapter).

Another things I tried is to using VMware DirectPath I/O to passthrough the vHBA into the VM directly. The servers detect the HBA and after struggling installing the drivers (I was using a Windows Server 2003 64 bit. Finding the drivers wasn't easy. Cisco provides only 2008, 2008R2 and 2012, while using Windows 2003 for backup is mandatory for me), Windows detect the adapters. But not the TL.

Using FCINFO tools, i find that the connection is using N-Port at 10Gbps, and state is linkdown. And the status on the TL is logged out. While status on the Fabric Interconnect is "Waiting for floggi". Which indicate the servers wasn't communicating properly with the Fabric.

So, I'm pretty sure that this is just a correct drivers matters. as using the same configuration VMware was able to detect the TL.

I'm using UCSB-MLOM-40G-01 and B200 M3 Servers.

So, while SAS and SCSI is cheaper, but in the end FC provide a higher bandwidth, especially if you are using a high cap drive (lets say LTO-5 or LTO-6). And also FC will provide you with a longer cabling distace vs SAS or SCSI and also a more thinner cable.

SAS and SCSI will save you from a SAN switch requirements (Zoning, and all of that), as its using direct connection to the servers. While FC will give you a better control to which server you are going to connect.

If you plan to use a SAS or SCSI, then the best way is using C-Series servers and using the SAS/SCSI Card required (Please reffer to the TL compatibility list).

As for me, I suggest using FC Tape than SAS/SCSI. Don't go to the highest LTO rank unless you required it (will be much much much more expensive).

I'm more concern the OS your server will use, regarding to the same issue as I'm experiencing.


Pieter Yanuar .T

Hi p.janadas,

Just to give you an update.

My configuration has worked. The problem I mentioned is all about Drivers for the vHBA in the VM OS.

As I tried using the officially supported platform (Windows 2008, 2008 R2, or 2012), the problems disappear. and the vHBA status is connected to the TL. and the device also showed in the floggi database.

Now if I still need to connect to Windows 2003, I just need to try and error for the correct drivers.


Pieter Yanuar .T

Hi Pieter ,

Thanks for your valueble information,

I did lot of search and i coudnt find any sutable HBA (SAS) for  the cisco C sereies serveres ,then i have gone with FC HBA .

But  total solution was almost more than 2 times expensive than SAS solution including tape autoloader.

i will considere this in my future projects and please let me know the sutable HBA (SAS) supported in UCS C Series serever.



Hi Pieter

What were  your settings on Fabric interconnect to make TL appear inside vm?


Thank you 



Currently my GUI Fabric Interconnect cannot be access due to failed firmware update. I'm still trying to find maintenance window for this error. Anyway I can give you the show running-config for that interface.


!Command: show running-config interface fc1/11
!Time: Mon May 19 03:08:34 2014

version 5.2(3)N2(2.21b)

interface fc1/11
  switchport mode F
  switchport trunk mode off
  no shutdown

interface vfc856
  bind interface Vethernet9048
  switchport trunk allowed vsan 250
  switchport description server 1/1, VHBA Tape-HBA
  no shutdown


interface Vethernet9048
  description server 1/1, VHBA Tape-HBA
  no cdp enable
  switchport access vlan 251
  bind interface port-channel1285 channel 856
  service-policy type queuing input default-in-policy
  no shutdown


It was FC Appliance if I'm not mistaken.





Same problem here, I just need a SAS card for a C-Series server, I'm not using a VIC nor Fabric Interconnect, just standalone server that will have a Windows Server OS.

I can't find a proper SAS card on CCW.


for C-series you want the RAID card option LSI 9285CV-8e, which has 8 external SAS ports.

the LSI compatibility list including tape, for this and other cards is here:

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