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Flex-10, C7000 enclosures and talking to each other.

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Super Advisor

Flex-10, C7000 enclosures and talking to each other.

Ok, here is the scenario.

We have 4+ C7000 enclosures. They all have VC Flex-10 modules(x2).

Right now we are using the uplink on the Flex-10s to go to a 6120, then that 6120 has a 1Gb copper RJ45 connection to the network.

Since we dont have any fibre yet we cant use the Flex-10.

Well, now we have an immediate need to up the throughput between the C7000 enclosures. I want to use Flex-10 to give at least 10Gb to/from each enclosure to the others.

Suggested way of doing this? Can you connect one flex-10 to another or do you need a switch in between for them to all connect to? If so, what switch is recommended?

Re: Flex-10, C7000 enclosures and talking to each other.

You can definitely go from Flex-10 module to module with direct attach copper cabling in vertical or horizontal cabling to create a mesh design. If you are doing VC domains then it's not recommended/supported to go above 4 enclosures in a VC domain. I'm a little confused on how the 6120 is connected here as that is a blade switch as well so unless you have NIC's in the other Mezz slots on the servers I don't see how the Flex-10's connect to it.

Kevin Meany
Super Advisor

Re: Flex-10, C7000 enclosures and talking to each other.

Thanks for the reply Kevin!

Well, we have 2 flex-10 modules in one c7000 enclosure that are horizontal. One is active one is passive and they use the backplane to communicate (or will when set up).

Right now we have a sfp+ cable going to the uplink on the flex-10 to the xfp port on the 6120. Then the 6120 has rj45 going to sites network for basic communication.

This simple 1Gb uplink per c7000 enclosure is ok for management and such, but now we need raw throughput between 4, c7000 enclosures. They are all setup the same as listed above.

So, can I keep the 1Gb uplink going, and then in flex10 VC add another network/vlan? You are saying the SFP+ direct-attach copper cables can connect from one flex-10 to ANOTHER flex10 in ANOTHER c7000 enclosure? How would you recommend all 4 enclosures talk? We have tons of direct-attach cables and would like at least 20Gb from each enclosure.

Should I just run 1 cable to all enclosures? Then the rest is software based and tell VC hey heres a new network/VLAN and then VMware can do the rest? Sorry for the noob questions but I have yet to even look at the flex10s and VC so its all foreign to me.
Super Advisor

Re: Flex-10, C7000 enclosures and talking to each other.

Follow-up: These are all bl490c g6 blades. They have the two internal 10Gb nics, and the majority of the blades also have a mezz card for a 1Gb NIC.

In esxi 4.1 we see 2 active NICs. I did not set up the current environment and the guy that did is now gone...

Markku Leinio
Valued Contributor

Re: Flex-10, C7000 enclosures and talking to each other.

About module/enclosure stacking:

- go to http://welcome.hp.com/country/us/en/support.html
- BladeSystem
- BladeSystem Virtual Connect
- HP Virtual Connect Flex-10 10Gb Ethernet Module for c-Class BladeSystem
- Manuals (guides, supplements, addendums, etc)

There is for example a guide titled "HP Virtual Connect Ethernet Cookbook: Single and Multi Enclosure Domain (Stacked) Scenarios", I think it can help you. I haven't tried any of the stacking configurations myself (yet).