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10Gb SFP+ NIC Connectivity

Mike Texter
Regular Advisor

10Gb SFP+ NIC Connectivity

Hi All,

I've had a lot of trouble in the past with other vendors' SFP+/10GbE/NIC/CNA connectivity from and to various systems and network devices.  I was looking at the 518001-001 (Mellanox) 2-port 10Gb SFP+ NIC but given my past woes (mostly with IBM to be honest), I didn't want to jump into anything blindly.  I have a couple of general questions regarding 10Gb networking:

1. If connecting to a switch, is it necessary to ensure compatiblity between the NIC, SFP+ modules, and switch, or are these generally interchangeable?  When i've worked in the past with IBM NICs and CNAs, if the SFP+ module wasn't explicity called out as compatible in the product's documentation, the connection would never work. 

2. Is the device on the other end (switch,  SAN, etc.) at all important when deciding on a NIC for my existing system?  I would expect if using a standard LC/LC cable that as long as the SFP+ and the NIC are compatible at the server end, and at the other end the switch and its respective SFP+ are compatible, that the connection would be made. 

Let me know if I am being too vague, i'll try to elucidate as much as possible. 

Ian Vaughan
Honored Contributor

Re: 10Gb SFP+ NIC Connectivity


Are you looking for -

Is it supported?

or just

Will it work?

Supported is dead easy as that is solely the parts that are listed on the quickspecs or datasheets of the particular products. Ask your local Partner or HPE presales for clarification if there are any niche cases. Sometimes you might be pressed into going with optics and seperate cables even though there is a completely suitable DAC or AOC just because of the support aspect

For "will it work" - The Provision / Aruba-OS switches have been a flat "no" for third party Optics and twin-ax for years. Although in the last month or so I believe that the OS has opened up enough to tollerate non-HPE peripherals. Look at the release notes for any of the 16.02 code and make sure i'm not pulling your leg.

Comware will work with loads of things that you plug in. At worst the syslog will be full of regular complaints, you may wish to filter / supress SNMP to stop your alert logging getting stuffed with messages.

Altoline - I supose that is as much to do with the OS that you put on the ODIE switch as the switch itself. Check the quickspecs. 

Arista - don't know - still catching up on that news!

For SAN check out the HPE SPOCK (you may need your HPE passport) for the ultimate SAN connectivity matrix.

For Ethernet - standard NICs should be fine. Different HPE NICs will have different capabilities - if you need any special capability like FCoE or iSCSI offload - again refer back to the SPOCK for what has been tested as a "solution".

I hope that gives you some ideas.



Hope that helps - please click "Thumbs up" for Kudos if it does
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Honored Contributor

Re: 10Gb SFP+ NIC Connectivity

And...I add...the best should be to use supported HPE NIC related to the HPE Server you are going to use (if you will use HPE Servers) and then, as Ian said yet, check which genuine HPE SFP+ Transceviers are supported by the HPE Switch you're considering for you deployment.

Generically - to me - a Standard is a Standard...so 10Gbps Fiber Optic multi-modal (or mono-modal), LC (or whatever else) should work provided that both ends use the same optic modal and same TenGigabit Ethernet standard.

Mike Texter
Regular Advisor

Re: 10Gb SFP+ NIC Connectivity

Thanks for these answers guys, the SPOCK is indeed an excellent resource.  I think my troubles in the past stemmed from IBM hardware being silly, so I was just making sure it wasn't something intrinsic with 10Gb hardware in general.  Will consult any available documentation, and fall back to standards if that fails.  Thanks again!