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Looking at Flex-10 Options

Paul_637
Regular Advisor

Looking at Flex-10 Options

I've installed a cClass enclosure/VMware previously using the Virtual Connect 1/10 modules and am now looking at a possible new install with Flex-10 on another job.

I've read a reasonable amount on the Flex-10 but still need answers to a couple of questions.

Can you deploy BL490c blades (with onboard Flex-10 nics) and uplink via VC 1/10g modules?
If so, can you still do any kind of multi-nic "trick" at the blade end (albeit without the bandwidth) or does it *require* the Flex-10 modules?

Did I read incorrectly or are the SFP(+?) modules for the Flex-10 module really £1000 each???

If using a redundant pair of 1/10G modules, can *both* 10Gb uplinks per module be connected to a switch to give 20Gb aggregated bandwidth to the 16 server uplinks? We never had 10G on my first deployment so we just trunked the 8 1Gb links.

Thanks for your time!

Paul
6 REPLIES
HEM_2
Honored Contributor

Re: Looking at Flex-10 Options

Paul:

yes, you can connect onboard FlexNICs from BL490c's to VC 1/10 modules in bay 1 and 2. The NICs will only run at 1Gb and you will not be able to do any multi-nic tricks aka carve out multiple FlexNICs.

SFPs and SFP+ can be very expensive, yes. You might want to take a look at Direct-Attach-Cables (DACs).

you can aggregate 2 10Gb Interfaces from teh same Module in to a 20Gb LACP trunk. You can not create an LACP channel with one 10Gb interface from one module and one from the other VC module. I.E. an LACP channel can not span multiple VC Modules.

But there are ways to make sure all VC uplinks are active by employing things liek an Active/Active Uplink Configuration.
Paul_637
Regular Advisor

Re: Looking at Flex-10 Options

Many thanks for the prompt response, most useful!

I'm aware of the inability to span LACP across modules.

Actually, now that I think about it, is it feasibly to connect *all* uplinks on a 1/10 (even though it's arguably overkill).
mujzeptu
Super Advisor

Re: Looking at Flex-10 Options

Sorry to hijack your thread, but I was curious about this discussion.

I have yet to work on this environment, but I am curious. Do you usually use flex10 and the 1/10Gb modules together? What if you want the benefits of flex, but dont have XFP uplinks to the network?
JonathanT
Frequent Advisor

Re: Looking at Flex-10 Options

I have Flex-10 in bays 1 + 2 with connections to BL490C G6 servers. I then put 1/10 VC in bays 3 and 4 and connected 1 to 3 and 2 to 4 with CX-4 cables. Off the 1/10 module I'm doing a 4 port LACP uplink to the core switches. Seems to work fine and solves the problem of inexpensive connectivity outside of the chassis as greater than 1Gb/sec.
mujzeptu
Super Advisor

Re: Looking at Flex-10 Options

Ok sweet.

So this allows you to provision flex NICs for all blades in the enclosure through flex, but still use the 1/10 for connectivity to the external network?

Is this the recommended solution?
Adrian Clint
Honored Contributor

Re: Looking at Flex-10 Options

You are likely to use Flex-10 and VC 1/10 in the same enclosure if you have.
(a) A requirement for more than 8 NICs or 20GB bandwidth on servers with 10GB NICs.
(b) Mixed servers with 1Gb and 10Gb NICs and you need more than 2 NICs on the 1Gb servers.
(c) Spare VC 1/10 around and want to use these to uplink rather than buying expensive SFPs for the Flex-10. Using CX4 cables to stack.