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Can you stack Virtual Connect Flex-10 & Virtual Connect FlexFabric modules

 
chuckk281
Trusted Contributor

Can you stack Virtual Connect Flex-10 & Virtual Connect FlexFabric modules

Peter had an interesting Multi-Enclosure Stacking (MES) question:

 

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Hello all,

I am in need of a document that explains either yes or no to the question, “Can we stack enclosures using a mixture of Flex 10 in one enclosure and Flexfabric in the other enclosure”.

 

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First Steve replied:

 

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Peter, this was discussed a couple weeks ago.  See attached.

 

No, “For FC there’s no stacking so the MES rules state that all enclosures in the domain must have the same VC-FC modules in the same slots. And a FlexFabric module is BOTH an Ethernet module and a FC module, so in your example you would indeed have a problem. In fact, I’m not sure VCM would let you import the new enclosure in the existing domain because of the different VC-FC placement.”

 

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Then Chad chimed in:

 

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Except that the VC User Guide says you can stack via Ethernet, you could use ports X5-X8 on the FlexFabric for stacking. Stacking would not be for FC but for Ethernet only:

 

By stacking (cabling) the Ethernet or FlexFabric modules within the domain, every server blade in the domain can be configured to access any external network connection. Fibre Channel or FlexFabric modules within different enclosures are each connected directly to the same set of FC SANs. With this configuration, the administrator can use Virtual Connect Manager to deploy and migrate a server blade profile to any server in the Virtual Connect domain without changing external LAN or SAN configurations.

 

When using multiple c7000 enclosures, there is a limit to the number of modules supported across the enclosures within a domain. A total of 16 Ethernet and 16 VC-FC type modules can be installed. A FlexFabric module counts as 1 Ethernet and 1 VC-FC module. Thus, up to 16 FlexFabric Modules or combinations of FlexFabric, VC-Enet, and VC-FC modules are allowed as long as the 16-module limit for each module type (Ethernet and FC) is not exceeded in the domain.

 

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Are you stacking with both VC FlexFabric and VC Flex-10 modules in separate enclosures? Let us know.

 

Here is the VC Setup and Installation Guide:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/CoreRedirect.jsp?redirectReason=DocIndexPDF&prodSeriesId=4144084&targetPage=http%3A%2F%2Fbizsupport1.austin.hp.com%2Fbc%2Fdocs%2Fsupport%2FSupportManual%2Fc01732271%2Fc01732271.chm

 

Here is the Multi-Enclosure Stacking document:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/CoreRedirect.jsp?redirectReason=DocIndexPDF&prodSeriesId=4144084&targetPage=http%3A%2F%2Fbizsupport1.austin.hp.com%2Fbc%2Fdocs%2Fsupport%2FSupportManual%2Fc02102153%2Fc02102153.pdf

 

 

1 REPLY
chuckk281
Trusted Contributor

Re: Can you stack Virtual Connect Flex-10 & Virtual Connect FlexFabric modules

Additional input from Steve:

 

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OK, I have verified this and stand by my initial reply….

 

Looking at the Setup and Install Guide, everything is described correctly.

Also, If bays 1 and 2 of the Primary Enclosure contain FlexFabric modules, then bays 1 and 2 of Remote Enclosures 1, 2, and 3 must also contain FlexFabric modules. The following illustration shows a valid VC-FC and FlexFabric bay configuration.

MES pic.jpg

 

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And Chad also responded:

 

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Take a look at this document as well.

 

HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb/24-port Module for c-Class BladeSystem - Installing the Module

 

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&taskId=115&prodSeriesId=4144084&prodTypeId=3709945&objectID=c02630986

 

Connecting multiple enclosures

Multiple enclosure support enables up to four c7000 enclosures to be managed within a single Virtual Connect domain. This configuration supports up to 16 VC-Enet modules and up to 16 VC-FC modules in the same domain, with a maximum of 4 VC-Enet, or 4 VC-FC modules per enclosure. Using multiple c7000 enclosures, you can install up to 16 FlexFabric modules in the same domain. Each FlexFabric Module counts as 1 VC-Enet module and 1 VC-FC module towards the 16 maximum module limit per multi-enclosure domain.

Stacking multiple enclosures enables the management of up to four enclosures from a single control point. VC Manager operates in the primary enclosure, and it enables up to three additional remote enclosures of the same type to be added as part of a single VC domain. The locally managed primary enclosure must be imported into the domain before importing additional (remote) enclosures. If a failure occurs, the standby module in the primary enclosure takes over.

 

MES2 pic.gif

 

Multiple enclosure guidelines:

Observe the following guidelines when connecting multiple enclosures:

  • Each enclosure must have at least one VC-Enet, Flex-10, or FlexFabric module installed.
  • All Ethernet modules must be interconnected.
  • All enclosures must have the same FC module configuration.
  • A single domain supports up to four c7000 enclosures.
  • When using multiple c7000 enclosures, there is a limit to the number of modules supported across the enclosures within a domain. A total of 16 Ethernet and 16 VC-FC type modules can be installed. A FlexFabric module counts as 1 Ethernet and 1 VC-FC module. Thus, up to 16 FlexFabric Modules or combinations of FlexFabric, VC-Enet, and VC-FC modules are allowed as long as the 16-module limit for each module type (Ethernet and FC) is not exceeded in the domain.
  • All VC-Enet or FlexFabric Ethernet-configured modules must be interconnected (stacked).

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All great info and a good discussion. Any more comments from those of you who have implemented this?