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I'm looking to play around with a test Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) deployment between 2 Xen servers and 1 storage server. Eventually I plan to replace our ageing NFS shared storage solution.

Is a DCB compatible switch strictly required? I'm hoping for testing I can just directly connect the servers (with compatible 10Gb Converged Network Adapters) to the storage server?

  • If I'm reading Intel'x X540/X520 product briefs right, I figure I should be able to directly connect between the adapters? – Michael P Apr 5 '14 at 0:19
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I'm not a FCoE expert, this presentation suggests that it is possible: https://www.snia.org/sites/default/education/tutorials/2012/spring/networking/JohnHufferd_FCoE_Direct_End_Node.pdf

But it probably depends on your FCoE adapter.

(Sorry, I don't know what exactly to quote out of the PDF...)

  • Thanks, I've seen this document but isn't what I'm looking for as it doesn't really spell out exactly what constitutes a capable end node for single wire VN2VN connections. – Michael P Apr 10 '14 at 12:22
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I am not sure about Xen servers. But I managed to connect Windows Storage server 2008 and Linux CentOS to Linux storage. On storage I enabled software DCB and installed open-fcoe packages. I am using LIO target modules on the storage. I managed to directly connect server to storage , it is called VN2VN. I used Intel x520 series Converged Network Adapters. Here is the article about VN2VN http://www.snia.org/sites/default/education/tutorials/2013/spring/networking/DavidFair_JosephWhite-How_VN2VN_Will-Help_Adoption_FCoE_02.pdf.

So, again I don't know about Xen servers , but I know that using Intel CNA x520 you can directly connect two ports and use FCoE, without any switches. Intel website has appropriate drivers.

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