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CSCO10875923
Beginner

Booting UCS from EMC VNX5300

Hi, We have a UCS 6100 and wanted to boot from a VNX 5300 directly connected via FCoE. My understanding is his cannot be done due to the FCoE multihop limitation. Also, we are not able to implement zoning on the UCS. The Nexus 5K has been sugested as a fix. But, please confirm:

1. Even with a Nexus 5K with FC module the UCS will still need a FC expansion module on the 6100 ,due to the multihop limitation, and terminate directly on the VNX 5300 FC port on the SP .

2. What version of NX-OS and Nexus 5K model supports Zoning?

3. Can I connect an HBA directly into the 5K FC ports and use the 5K FC ports as a switch fabric to the VNX 5300 FC SP port?

Thank you

20 REPLIES 20
Jeremy Waldrop
Enthusiast

Christopher, here are your options for SAN connectivity.

  1. Connect the VNX to the Nexus 5000.
    • You will want 2 Nexus 5ks for redundancy.
    • You will need the Storage Services License.
      • You can use either FCoE or traditional FC connections from the VNX. For traditional FC you will have to have an expansion module that has FC interfaces
    • The Nexus 5k has the same FC zoning/fabric services that an MDS 9100 has. All Nexus 5ks have the FC feature set, you just need the storage license to use it past 60 days.
      • From the UCS you will need to an FC expansion module and connect at least 2 interfaces to Nexus 5k, 6120-A ---> N5K-A, 6120-B ---> NBK-B. I would also port channel those FC connections to provide a single logical FC uplink from each 6120.
    • You can connect a traditional server HBA to the Nexus 5k and zone it just like on an MDS, you just have to have the FC expansion module.
  2. Connect the VNX directly to UCS via FCoE or traditional FC. This is one of the new features of UCS firmware 1.4.x but for this to be fully supported you still need a Nexus 5k or MDS for zoning.

Thank you! In regards to - All Nexus 5ks have the FC feature set, you just need the storage license to use it past 60 days... So even if we do FCoE end to end we will need the FC feature set on the Nexus 5K? Even without the FC module? Also,  Is FCoE multihop supported in the Nexus 5K? For example, CNA FCoE -> Nexus FCoE-> VNX 5300 FCoE?

Also, for - Connect the VNX directly to UCS via FCoE or traditional FC. This is one  of the new features of UCS firmware 1.4.x but for this to be fully  supported you still need a Nexus 5k or MDS for zoning.... Could we connect the VNX 5300 directly to the UCS w/ 1.4x firmware via FCoE and use LUN masking on the VNX side and word wide name and port settings on the UCS?

Yes, you can connect the VNX directly to the UCS 6120s and enable FC switch mode/default zoning. Technically this works without an MDS or N5K in the mix for zoning. We have a client doing this and it works but Cisco recently changed their stance on this saying that is now not supported.

From what I have heard there is a scalability issue that one of the storage vendors found when doing testing. Not sure what the scale limit is or if it was EMC or NetApp that found the issue. We have a client doing this with an EMC CX4 and they haven't had any issues.

Hi Jeremy, is there any official statement on direct FCoE connection between UCS and VMX not being supported anymore?

It isn't that direct attach isn't supported it is that an MDS/N5K is recommended just for the purpose of zoning. You would only need to connect a single FC port in each fabric for this. I/O is still sent directly to the storage array over FCoE.

Take a look at these 2 screen shots

Yes, for either FCoE or FC you must purchae the storage service license.

CNA FCoE -> Nexus FCoE-> VNX 5300 FCoE is not FCoE multihop. That is 2 FCoE point-to-point connections; one from the VNX to the N5K and the other from the CNA to the N5K.

FCoE multihop would be this --- CNA -->N7K-->N5K-->VNX

Thank you, last questions.

1. UC FCoE -> Nexus 5K (with storage services license)-> VNX FCoE port is supported correct? Want to make sure Fabric Interconnect does not need FC module. Thanks

No, UCS FCoE-->N5K is not supported. You have to either direct attached VNX to 6120s or connect 6120s to N5K over FC on the expansion module.

Thank you!!