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Frequent Advisor

Virtual connect question

Hi guys!!


Quick question I hope you can help me with!!


I have a c7000 chassis with 16 bl460c g1 blade servers. I need to connect with all of them to a external HP EVA SAN storage. Im planning to buy 16 FC mezzanines for this, but my real question is ... do I need 1 or 2 virtual connects 409513-B21 ?. Budget is an issue, and Im not really interested on the redundancy of 2 virtual connects. So, I want to know if it's possible connecting the 16 blades through one virtual connect.


Cheers and thanks!

Johan Guldmyr
Honored Contributor

Re: Virtual connect question



you will also need the VC ethernet modules, the VC fc module is managed from the VC ethernet modules.

As mentioned in the quickspecs:


The quickspecs above shows that it's supported to run it with only one VC Ethernet and one VC FC module.

As far as I can tell, each server's port 1 of mezzanine 1 should be mapped to interconnect 3 and provide each server with one path to the SAN.

Frequent Advisor

Re: Virtual connect question

HI Johan,


I have 1 VC ethernet pass-through, so, that should be fine.


On the docs you posted, that's for a c3000 chassis. My main concern comes from :


Page 13. 


Seems that blades n+8, uses another VC, instead of Interconnect bay 3 (in this case interconnect bay 5). And, if that is correct, if you can manually map the blades n+8 to use the VC FC module on the bay 3 (instead of 5). 



Valued Contributor

Re: Virtual connect question

You can connect all 16 Blades to the VC 4GB FC module. Each mezzanine card is a dual ported HBA, meaning one port would go to Interconnect bay 3 and the redundant path would route to Interconnect bay 4. The 4 ports out  would connect into your SAN fabric and would be managed by the Enet VC. Keep in mind you would only be using half of your Controller ports in your EVA. It is set up for redundant paths into storage. The mezzanine HBA's (4GB FC will be either QLogic or Emulex) I would choose whatever brand you are currently using to access you EVA. Mezzanine 1 maps to Interconnects in bay 3/4, Mezzanine 2 maps to either 5/6 for dual ported options, or 5,6,7 and 8 for quad ported options. The bays 1 and 2 are for on-board NICs and are hardwired, thus they can not be changed.


You will zone the VC FC ports just like any other direct connected HBA. Within the VC manager you have a choice of using hardware provided WWN or have VC provide it's own WWN. If you choose VC provided WWNs, it's easier to "rip and replace" servers due to hardware issues. No additional SAN zoning or network changes would need to be done if VC is setup correctly.



Frequent Advisor

Re: Virtual connect question

Yes you need two modules, each HBA Mezannine port is connected to its own interconnect bay.

Uses QMH2462 (or QMH2562) mezzanine in each server on mezz.slot1, place the VC-FC Modules in interconnectslot 3 and 4 for the right configuration setup.


Please Note: Dont choice the 409513-B21 but the 409513-B22, the B21 is not longer supported !!!

       - Only difference the B21 dont have NPIV Capability on the server side.

       - The B21 cant be firmware updated after version 4.01, latest that will support this module.


Please Note: When you have VirtualConnect Fiberchannel modules, you will also need VirtualConnect Ethernet modules.Only the Ethernet Modules have the "VirtualConnect Manager" CPU in it, the VC module dont have that.

Without the VC Ethernet Modules you cant manage the FC Modules, this is not supported!


Kind Regard

Marcel Koedijk




Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Virtual connect question

>> I have 1 VC ethernet pass-through, so, that should be fine.

Do you have VC modules *or* pass-thru modules???

Consider to use a b-series FC switch if you don't have VC yet (also if you already have VC ethernet modules).


If you have external switches, you may also use fc-pass-thru modules.

Hope this helps!

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Trusted Contributor

Re: Virtual connect question

I agree with most of the people here.

1 FC module is enough as long as you don't want/need any redundancy.
1 FC module will light up 1 port on each dual port FC HBA.

You need a VC Ethernet module to use a VC FC module. All the VC intelligence resides in the Ethernet module.

There is no such thing as a VC Pass Through.
If you have 16 RJ45 ports, you have a Pass Through and NOT a VC.
If you have at least 1 CX-4 connector and 4 or 8 RJ45 ports, you might have a VC Ethernet 1/10 module.
Fastest way to figure this out is login to the OA and run the Firmware Summary in the top left. Scroll all the way to the bottom and you will see the exact name of each interconnect and its firmware version listed.

And lastly, if you don't want to hassle with VC FC due to the Ethernet requirement, a b-series FC switch would be another good alternative. It can be configured for "Access Gateway" mode and will behave almost exactly like VC FC modules do. Little or no config required after that point.
Frequent Advisor

Re: Virtual connect question


It is neccesary a VC Ethernet Module 1/10GB to administer the VC FC 4gb?. Not enough with a pass-thru module?


Should be enough with a P/N : 399725-001 ?


Thanks in advance.



Trusted Contributor

Re: Virtual connect question

VCM which is the itelligence/config system in Virtual Connect resides only in the Ethernet based modules.
So without a 1/10, 1/10-F, Flex-10, FexFabric or Flex-10/10D module, there is simply no way to configure the VC Fibre Channel module.

That Part number is for a 1/10 and it would work.
Super Advisor

Re: Virtual connect question

Is there any book or white paper in how to setup Virtual Connect as best practice ?

Occasional Visitor

Re: Virtual connect question

There were TWO versions of the 4Gb VC-FC module produced. The first was part #409513-B21 and the second module, which has a more robust chipset, part #409513-B22. Support for the –B21 version of the 20 port 4Gb VC-FC module was dropped from the code base in VC Firmware version 4.10. Therefore, as described in the Virtual Connect release notes since release 4.10, the 20 Port 4Gb VC-FC modules (part #409513-B21) is no longer supported and cannot be upgraded past VC 4.01 (FC firmware version 1.44). If the domain contains these modules, you will not be able to upgrade the domain beyond VC firmware version 4.01. If you still have 4Gb VC-FC modules in your enclosure, you can verify whether they are the B21 or B22 version, by logging in to the OA and navigating to the Interconnect Bay as shown below.