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What I have:

  • Fujitsu-Siemens PRIMERGY BX600
  • Brocade 200E (16 port, 4gbit fibre).

My question:

  1. Imagine a QNAP with a fiber 10GBIT card connected to the Brocade 200E (16 port, 4gbit fibre). Would this work; would the card drop down to 4GBIT?
  2. Are 10GBIT fiber cards backwards completable.

Update. I have the specs of my server now....

Fujitsu-Siemens PRIMERGY BX600 S3 Blade Ecosystem Blade Chassis comprising;

  • 2 x A3C40073243 Blade Management modules
  • 2 x A3C40089238 GBE Switch Blade SB9F 30/12
  • 2 x A3C40085736 4Gb 10 port pass through blades
  • 1 x A3C40083767 Digital KVM Modules
  • 2 x A3C40073245 Fan enclosures + cooling fans
  • 4 x A3C40073262 Power Supplies

My Goals and Objectives

  • To have a blade system in place for 8 blades for video rendering, the other 2 for database and scripts etc
  • The system will be built on VMWARE ESXi 5
  • Use ISCSI on the QNAP to support HA and vmotion if needed
  • Users to access the qnap for video editing
  • QANAP has 12 drive (2 x (6 HDD in RAID 10)
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what modules do you have in the bx600 –  tony roth Jun 22 '12 at 16:44
    
@tony roth - 10x BX620 S4 Dual Quad Core 2.5Ghz Blade Servers –  Arthor Jun 22 '12 at 16:56
    
@tony roth - 2 x A3C40085736 4Gb 10 port pass through blades –  Arthor Jun 22 '12 at 17:10
    
which comm modules –  tony roth Jun 22 '12 at 17:11
    
@ tony roth - I don not have it to hand but the A3C40085736 is full with the 4GBic. We are about to buy it. And we have the Brocade 200E & 10 x 2M FC Cables to suit above. –  Arthor Jun 22 '12 at 17:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

This will not work.

Fiber may be the medium, but these are different standards, and different types of network cards.

The Brocade is Fiber Channel (FC), and the QNAP is 10Gb ethernet. Most consumer/smb grade NAS do not support FC. Also, FC is somewhat considered a legacy protocol these days..

You'll see them listed as 1/2/4/8 FC cards/HBAs, or 1/10Gb network cards, but they are different technologies that are not compatible.

However, you may be able to directly connect the Blade Enclosure to the QNAP and avoid the FC switch. Alternatively, you'll be able to do the same via a 10Gb switch.

E.g.

Blade enclosure ------------------ QNAP

or

Blade enclosure ----------- 10Gb switch ---------QNAP

Based on your updated requirements, video streaming, etc I'm concerned about using a QNAP too.

Take a peek at http://www.netapp.com/us/products/storage-systems/fas2200/fas2200-product-comparison.html as they are the gold standard for lower-end professional virtualization.

So, it might update to something like this:

Blade enclosure ----------- 10Gb switch ---------Netapp

or

Blade enclosure (10Gb) -------------------Netapp

If going back to FC, but swapping out the QNAP, then something like

Blade enclosure ----- Brocade ------------Netapp

Please track your interfaces, since not all Netapps have FC interfaces.

Conclusion: You technically do not need a switch, although you may want one in order to use multiple paths for the network infrastructure.

References:

A description of FC http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibre_Channel

A description of 10GbE http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/10-gigabit_Ethernet

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The QNAP TS-EC1279U-RP will support a 10GBIT card e.g. OCe11102-IM or OCe11102-NM. Would this provide a solution? –  Arthor Jun 22 '12 at 16:20
2  
What he's saying is that those are Ethernet adapters, what you need are FC HBAs to be able to use that switch. The cards you mention just use optical interconnects, and are not true fiber channel. –  Tatas Jun 22 '12 at 17:36
    
@Tatas hmmmmm.. Okay, can I have some suggestion please on how I should set this up. Do I even need the Brocade 200E? Any advice would be great... –  Arthor Jun 22 '12 at 17:47
    
The above answer by @Brennan is exactly what I would recommend. –  Tatas Jun 22 '12 at 17:58
    
@Tatas, So effectively the switch is the key. But then there is no really benefit for me buy the switch? (Brocade 200E (16 port, 4gbit fibre) –  Arthor Jun 22 '12 at 18:02

The 10GbE components use Ethernet. It transports data using the Ethernet standard.

The switch that you're talking about is a Fiber Channel switch. It speaks Fiber Channel Protocol, which was designed to transmit SCSI commands over Fiber uplinks.

Your 10GbE NICs speak a different "language" than the FC Switch. They aren't compatible. If you want them to speak you need to get equipment that's either all Ethernet (L2 Ethernet switch, 10GbE NICs, etc) or all FCP (Brocade switch, FC HBAs for the storage and servers).

Just because the physical medium might all be fiber doesn't mean that the protocols that are transmitted over that physical medium are all interchangable. I could write a protocol that exists solely to transmit an image of my cat over a physical fiber medium. That doesn't mean that a FC switch or a GbE adapter would know what to do with it.


tl;dr - the physical medium isn't important in this case. Get gear that uses all the same transmission protocol.

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