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Beginner

Use of the Appliance port - iSCSi Netapp 10Gb Ethernet

We have a customer who wants to connect the iSCSi storage to the Appliance ports on their 6140 XP Fabric Interconnects , because they don't have the Nexus switch and they have too few ports. Is this ok? I know it is not supported by CIsco, but has anyone tried thir or can share their experience?

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Atle,

You're correct, there's no CVD for this I'm aware of.  If you have dual paths defined in your boot policy within UCS the host will be able to failover to the other path in the event one fails.

Robert

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Cisco Employee

This is supported and works fine.

Robert

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ok, but there is no CVD on this? Do you have a Cisco paper on it?

If one of the FIs dies, will MPIO on the ESXi continue accessing the storage using a different path? Will ESXi native multi-pathing do this for iSCSi?

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Atle,

You're correct, there's no CVD for this I'm aware of.  If you have dual paths defined in your boot policy within UCS the host will be able to failover to the other path in the event one fails.

Robert

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Hi Robert

I was wondering how the FI and Appliance Port would behave should you connect anything other than Network Attached Storage to the appliance port.

For instance, lets say you connect an external server (any brand for that matter) to that port.  The MAC addresses would be learnt by the FI and you could even trunk multiple vlans to that server. - But would it work properly? If not, what are the caveats?

your feedback is greatly appreciated

thanks

Adriaan

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@Adriaan,

Funny you should ask.  This was one thing I played/tested while in TAC.   You're exactly correct, setting a port as an "Appliance port" simply tells the FI to learn MAC addresses on the interface, which in turn allows devices to switch traffic to/from it.   Though connecting "non-NAS" devices may work, it will be far from supported from a TAC perspective.  You'd need to abide by the Hardware & Software Interopt matrix for what devices TAC would support for direct connect appliances.  There's just too many devices out there for us to offer blanket support for.  The impact of some vendors over others would take far more QA resources than we have. 

The purpose of the appliance port is for direclty connecting a NAS - connecting a thrid party server or other device really doesn't offer much benefit.  Why wouldn't you just connect your servers to the northbound LAN? UCS can't manage them or offer anything else than removing of 1-hop of network traffic.  At 10G the additional latency of 1 more network hop is negligable. 

Regards,

Robert

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Hi Robert

thanks for your response. This validates my suspicion all along.  The only reason why I thought about it was should you have 1Gb-only LAN uplinks and you have a server with a 10Gb interface communicating with servers within the UCS domain.

understood it would certainly not be supported at all.  The next step wierd people might do is to re-purpose old 61xx FIs in an all-Appliance port configuration elsewhere in their network just to leverage off 10Gb ports (esp since the licenses cant be transferred to 62xx)

thanks for your reply

Adriaan

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