Posts Tagged ‘Brocade’

Dell MXL/IOA with FC Flex IOM: Network and Infrastructure Convergence with NPIV Proxy Gateway

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Dell FC Flex IO Module for Dell MXL/IOA Blade Switch

Dell FC Flex IO Module for Dell MXL/IOA Blade Switch


Very exciting news from Dell today as they announced the availability of the Dell FC Flex IOM module which transforms the Dell M1000e MXL/IOA blade switch into a NPIV Proxy Gateway (NPG). This allows the MXL/IOA to bridge between Ethernet and Fibre Channel allowing for network convergence with FCoE. (more…)

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LACP and Trunking Between Brocade FOS and Dell FTOS Switches

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

In this short lab I’ll demonstrate creating a LACP LAG and trunking between Brocade switches running FOS and Dell switches running FTOS. I utilize two Brocade 8000 switches [FOS 6.3], one Dell S60 switch [FTOS 8.3.3.8], and one Dell PowerEdge 2950 server with a QLogic QLE8242 CNA. Below is the network diagram for this lab. (more…)

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FCoE with Dell S5000 Converged Switch and Dell MXL Blade Switch [Video]

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Check out the latest Dell S5000 converged switch video which demonstrates FCoE with the Dell S5000 converged switch and the Dell PowerEdge M1000e chassis w/ MXL blade switch. The Dell S5000 switch is configured in NPIV Proxy Gateway mode and the Dell MXL blade switch is configured for FCoE Transit. Additionally, the FCoE and LAN connectivity is tested by sending LAN and SAN traffic from the Dell PowerEdge M620 blade server. Multipathing over dual fabrics is also demonstrated by logging into the Fibre Channel switches and observing the FC traffic passing over both fabrics. Just see the second video posted on the following page on Dell’s website here, Dell Tech Center YouTube channel here, or just see the video directly below. (more…)

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Dell Networking S5000 – FCoE Configuration [Video]

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

In my prior blog posts, I discussed Dell’s new converged switch, the Dell S5000, and provided links to two Dell S5000 whitepapers I recently published. Now you can see the Dell S5000 converged switch in action within a converged infrastructure employing FCoE. Just visit the following page on Dell’s website here, Dell Tech Center YouTube channel here, or just see the video directly below. (more…)

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Dell Networking S5000: Deployment of a Converged Infrastructure with FCoE

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Checkout my latest Dell Networking document and learn how to deploy FCoE using the Dell S5000 converged switch: “Dell Networking S5000: Deployment of a Converged Infrastructure with FCoE“. (more…)

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Dell Networking S5000: The Building Blocks of Unified Fabric and LAN/SAN Convergence

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Check out my latest Dell Networking whitepaper: Dell Networking S5000: The Building Blocks of Unified Fabric and LAN/SAN Convergence. The whitepaper demonstrates and explains the movement from a traditional non-converged LAN/SAN network to a converged LAN/SAN infrastructure and how the Dell S5000 switch is an ideal solution for this transition. The whitepaper focuses on deploying a converged solution with FCoE using a Dell S5000 switch. The building blocks of Unified Fabric with FCoE are discussed in detail. In addition, benefits of moving to a converged infrastructure such as less maintenance and considerable cost savings are discussed. (more…)

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Buying a Converged/FCoE Switch?

Saturday, May 11th, 2013

I felt the urge to write this article after receiving several inquiries about buying used Cisco Nexus 5010 and Nexus 5020 switches because they are available on some third-party site at large discounts – at least compared to the new Cisco Nexus switches. First, let me mention that both of these switches are EOL. Second, as I always say, whether the switch will work for you or not will depend on your network requirements. Let me mention a few things here to take into consideration when looking at some of these old EOL switches when the thought of saving some $$$$ overwhelm you. (more…)

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Dell Force10 – Layer 2 Multipathing via Virtual Link Trunking (VLT)

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

In this blog I use one Dell Force10 S50N [FTOS 8.4.2.7] and three Dell Force10 S4810 switches [FTOS 8.3.12.1] to demonstrate Dell Force10′s layer 2 mulipathing technology called Virtual Link Trunking (VLT). With VLT, you can create a LAG for a server, switch, or any device that supports LACP to two different upstream switches.

Traditionally, a LAG from an access switch or server could only connect to a single upstream switch. For redundanacy purposes, many users would implement stacking on the upstream switches and then use a port-channel/LAG up to the stacked switch now seen as one logical entity. However, stacking is not the preferred solution here. Two main reasons for this is that stacking provides a single control plane mechanism that is managed by the master switch; there is no hitless failover. Compare this to VLT which provides a dual control plane mechanism and is hitless in nature. Additionally, when upgrading the switch firmware, the entire stack would need to be brought down. With VLT, one switch can be upgraded at a time without bringing down the other switch.

Stacking is more seen at the ToR or access layer. The ToR switches are usually stacked and VLT is then used upstream to the aggregate and core switches. However, if the ToR switch supports VLT such as the S4810 does, VLT can also be used from the switch down to the server. 1 GbE switches like the Dell S50N and Dell S60 do not support VLT, so, in these cases, stacking can still be employed.

In the least recommended approach, if no VLT or stacking is used at the aggregate layer connecting to the ToR on a layer 2 network, spanning tree protocol (STP) would need to be employed to block redundant links. This would create link and switch level redundancy. The issue with this is that you lose half the ports/bandwidth on the switch. By leveraging VLT, you can have an active-active multi-path connection from an access server/switch to two upstream switches seen as one logical entity employing a dual control plane mechanism. No putting-up with STP or blocked ports! (more…)

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