We are building a system using HP's c7000 blades. Cisco catalyst switches support etherchannel load balancing. However, it appears that Cisco switches are only available for 1gb backplane, and not the 10gb backplane.

Do any of the 10gb switches available for the c7000 support a similar functionality?

  • I don't think HP makes a Blade Switch that doesn't support LACP; @Chopper would know more. – Chris S Apr 14 '11 at 12:44

You're right about the Cisco blade switches only having 1Gbps downlinks, they've not announced anything with 10Gbps ones yet. That said you do have two options, the HP ProCurve 6120XG Blade Switch is 10Gbps all the way as is the HP FlexFabric or Flex-10 interconnects, personally I just love the FlexFabric as it lets you use your NICs as CNAs with FCoE but any of these options are great and all support LACP.

By the way the midplane of a C3/7000 isn't 1Gbps or 10Gbps, in fact it's entirely speed and protocol gnostic, it's just wires - you can throw anything over them so long as the Mezzanine cards and Interconnects match.

Hope this helps.

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  • Can the G7's built-in FlexFabric module operate with the cheaper switches? (I'll be using the MDS600 for drive density, so FCoE and iSCSI aren't important to me.) – sfried Apr 14 '11 at 15:47
  • At 10Gbps with that Procurve switch and at 1Gbps with ANY other interconnect. I'll give your kit list a check before you order it if you like. – Chopper3 Apr 14 '11 at 20:38
  • Thanks for the offer. (I have one other question that I asked today regarding the MDS600. :-) But, back to this: the FlexFabric switch lists for around $18K, the other two 10G switches list for around $12K. I found some docs on HPs website that differentiate the FlexFabric and Flex-10, but nothing regarding 6120XG vs Flex-10. – sfried Apr 14 '11 at 21:29
  • There's a lot of difference, hard to fit into a comment but the procurve is just a plain 10Gbps switch but the flex-fabric is just amazingly configurable, though of more use if you use FC/FCoE. – Chopper3 Apr 14 '11 at 22:08
  • I've got a telecon tomorrow with some HP network and storage architects. I hope to be enlightened, and will see whether I can distill any knowledge. You've definitely helped guide my questions. – sfried Apr 14 '11 at 22:55

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