I want to connect a SAN (MD3800i) to a PowerConnect 8132F switch. Both support 10 Gbit Ethernet, but the 1st does it via iSCSI (RJ-45), while the second - via SFP+. Any adapter that could go in between?

A similar question is this: 10Gb ISCSI to 1Gb server port but I don't want to negate the benefits of the 10 Gbit interface by just going down to 1 Gbit. Any help or direction would be highly appreciated, I feel quite lost right now. Thank you!


You are conflating two terms. You do not have an "iSCSI port", you have a 10GBASE-T port and an SFP+ port. You need to know how to connect those two things. iSCSI is the Layer 7 protocol. You're talking about the Layer 1 protocol (the physical connection, or PHY, of the ethernet protocol)

And the short answer is: you can't easily. You need an interim device. There are no in-spec SFP+ to 10Gbase-T transceivers. There are transceivers like this that you plug into your SFP+ port, but support of them is... dubious. The vast majority of SFP+ ports either have optical transceivers or TwinAx direct SFP+ connections installed in them.

What most people do is they buy another switch - they get a switch that has both SFP+ and 10Gbase-T ports. They then use that switch to bridge the network between the two interfaces.

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  • Thanks a lot! I understand that 10GBASE-T and iSCSI are different layers, but was too exhausted when asking the question... My bad, sorry! It seems that iSCSI only runs through 10GBASE-T, through. Netgear whitepaper and MD3800i Manual, pp. 13-14. Or is this yet another misunderstanding of mine? Is there any reason for iSCSI not to run over SFP+? Let me know if this should be yet another question. Many thanks! – Marcel Nov 5 '17 at 14:24
  • @user2827333 iSCSI can run over any any Layer 1 protocol. It can run over Ethernet, PPPoE, ATM, WiFi. Within the Ethernet world, it can run over 10GBASE-T, SFP+, OM4, etc. – Mark Henderson Nov 5 '17 at 14:26
  • I realize that I'm asking lots of stupid questions... Can you maybe point me towards an "iSCSI for dummies"? The wikipedia page doesn't help me much. – Marcel Nov 5 '17 at 14:27
  • @MarkHenderson iSCSI runs over TCP/IP which in turn can run on nearly any layer 2 and layer 1 network. ;-) – Zac67 Nov 28 '17 at 20:15
  • @user2827333 The basic concept is to run SCSI (probably still best known for Parallel SCSI or Serial Attached SCSI) over any IP network, whatever it runs on physically. The physical layer has an impact on performance, of course but other than that iSCSI devices don't care about it. – Zac67 Nov 28 '17 at 20:18

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