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J9008a SFP+ direct attach cable compatibility

Occasional Contributor

J9008a SFP+ direct attach cable compatibility

Hi All,


I've got a 2910al switch which I'd like to upgrade with a J9008a module to allow connectivity with a Dell PowerEdge server running an Intel X520-DA2 NIC.  I'll be using a SFP+ direct attach cable.


This post on the Intel forum suggests that HP DAC cables do not conform to SFF-8472 standards and won't work with the Intel NIC.  The post also implies that the J9008a will only accept HP DAC cables - does anyone know if this is true?


I've ordered a Dell 10GBASE SFP+ 3M TWINAX (part 2CM32) cable but am now concerned it might not work.  I have yet to buy the J9008a module.  Of course, I've also invested in these Intel NICs.


The ProCurve 2910al Installation and Getting Started Guide (appendix C-1) states that direct attach cables should be "One-piece devices consisting of a cable with SFP+ connectors permanently attached to each end, complying with SFF 8431 SFP+ specifications." and makes no mention that the cables should be HP branded.


Does anyone have any experience on this that could help me out; better still has anyone managed to use Dell TWINAX DAC's with this switch?


Many thanks in advance.


UPDATE: I've done some further reading and come across other posts where people state ProCurves require DACs and transceivers that embed an HP vendor ID forcing the use of HP accessories only.  I still can't find anything official from HP to confirm this though.


As the HP DACs apparantly don't work with the Intel NIC I guess I'll now have to resort to sourcing HP transceivers for the HP end and Intel transceivers for the Intel end and dump DAC all together.  What a pain!




Frequent Advisor

Re: J9008a SFP+ direct attach cable compatibility

Procurve switches are programmed to only accept Procurve transceiver codes.


I have a Sun server that's happy on an HP DAC.

John Gelten
Regular Advisor

Re: J9008a SFP+ direct attach cable compatibility

I can confirm that it 'generally' works when you make sure the DAC is compatible with your switch (this is valid not only for HP switches); most servers I know of (though I am not a server-guru) happily accept any DAC.

And indeed, there are combinations where a DAC just is not compatible, and you have to use the normal transceivers and cabling. Unfortunately, DAC is not the standard, it is a cheap alternative in many-but-not-all setups.