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FAS2020A + DS14MK4 connection

Hi all,

We're currently using FAS2020A (dual head, 12x300GB). As we're running out of space, we'd like to add a disk shelf. As our budget is low, we managed to find nice refurbished DS14MK4 (ESH4) with 14x300GB FC disks. The shelf has no SFP FC transceivers and I'm wondering how to connect head to shelf.

One option is buying four SFP transceivers (X6539). The question here is: does it have to be NetApp branded modules or we could use other vendor's modules (ex. Finisar FTLF8524P2PNV)? Do we have to use NetApp branded LC-LC cables (X6524) or we could use standard LC-LC fiber patchcord?

Second option is SFP-SFP cable (X6530), but I'm not sure if this configuration is supported for connecting head to shelf.

Help is much appreciated.

Re: FAS2020A + DS14MK4 connection

You need optical (although copper works, but just supported only optical from controller to first shelf) for the controller to first shelf with DS14 shelves.  It isn't uncommon to see a customer use their own LC cables when ordered to lengths they need and there is no check of the SFP vendor that I know of in ONTAP.  So it works, but you should call support and make sure you can get support for the shelf.  I would make sure you are able to get support or you won't be able to get replacements of any failed components on the used shelf.  There may be a small re-certification fee as well.  If you don't have support or don't need support then this isn't an issue for you.  But always be weary of used parts on a system currently under maintenance.  There have been some cases where unsupported disks are illegally loaded with NetApp firmware and those can never be supported.

Re: FAS2020A + DS14MK4 connection

Thanks for your answer Scott. I appreciate it. No support for disk shelf isn't a big issue for me as I also order some spare parts with it (HDD, PSU), have one year warranty and there's still some hardware redundancy. I think we'll be upgrading our box in two years (2240?) so now I just have to find something temporary. I also hope I won't loose support/warranty for filer when I'll use it with refurbished shelf.

Can anyone else acknowledge that Finisar (or other non-NetApp) SFP will work with this filer?

Re: FAS2020A + DS14MK4 connection

I can't answer if support will be valid or not with a used shelf added out of support...there is a good chance it may not be.  I would check on coverage to add the shelf (shouldn't be a huge amount) under the existing warranty.  It might be worth talking to your rep about checking on it.

A Finisar SFP will work... in a pinch we have used some when we couldn't wait for a warranty replacement, and often it is the same oem part netapp uses...just the official support issue I'm not sure about on it.

Re: FAS2020A + DS14MK4 connection

Scott, a thing I've always wondered is whether or not adding an unsupported (legal) shelf to your configuration effects the support status of the other components.

It would, of course, be unreasonable to expect that shelves with no coverage be supported. But I'd have hoped that shelves and controllers which are covered by support remain so even if an unsupported shelf is connected (assuming the disks and shelf controllers are legitimate).

Re: FAS2020A + DS14MK4 connection

I hope it would too but haven't seen an official policy on it.

Sent from my iPhone 4S

Re: FAS2020A + DS14MK4 connection

Our VAR confirmed we won't loose support for the array, however to get support for shelf, they need S/N to check if it's still supported. When I have the shelf, I'll try to get support for it. Thanks guys.

Re: FAS2020A + DS14MK4 connection

Did they pass through an email or anything in writing from NetApp?  Just in case you get into a case and are told there isn't support (when there is support from what the VAR said).

Re: FAS2020A + DS14MK4 connection

Question:  How much concern is there on using cheap Ebay used disk shelves to add to a contract supported filer if you have the protection of RAID-DP, hot spare, and synchronous SnapMirror?  It seems like upon any kind of hardware failure, your still pretty secure.  Thoughts?