Network and Storage Protocols

What happened to jumbo frames?


The precursor...

OK, I'll start this with a "Yes, I know that jumbo frames are not supported for Storevault products." Why it isn't supported is another topic of discussion (which I think should be answered...maybe even here).

The background...

Seeing as how I've read before a "yeah they're not supported, but you can do it", I stayed late last night to do some other server maintenance and to get jumbo frames going across my network....on my Cisco 3560, on my S500, and on my Exchange and Virtual servers using LUNs on the S500. To my surprise (and disappointment), my S500 would never allow me to set an MTU above 1500. I was on 7.0.3S8 (or something like that) so I updated it to the latest of 7.2.1S9. That version did not work either (neither through the CLI or FilerView). The exact error message was "Error: ifconfig: MTU size must be between 296 and 1500 for e0a". I also tried this on e0b and tried it when the interfaces were both "up" and "down". Still got the message. Next on the list was to find where I saw that it could be done. It turns out that it was right here on this forum, but that message has since been deleted (???). Through the joys of Google's caching system, I found it anyway. Just Google "cache:" or search "storevault jumbo frames" and click on the Cached link for the first result (for some reason posting the actual cache link here didn't work). Sure enough, my eyes did not deceive me. My 'ole buddy Drew said that it was possible. However, that discussion also shows that a "davehughes" was having the same problem I'm having, yet he said he could accomplish it on his S500 but not his S550. Anyway, I had to can the whole project last night. Needless to say I was perturbed.

The question...

So, what's going on with it all? Since Drew said that it was possible in 7.2.1S8, did it get removed in 7.2.1S9 that I upgraded to last night? If so, why did it get removed? Was it causing problems or was it because it was not supported? If the latter, maybe we do need to start the discussion on why an iSCSI SAN product (from a company as reputable as NetApp) does not include support for jumbo frames. I don't think just because this is a SMB product that it should be tied that tight. I say put the option there and let the SMB decide whether they implement it or not (as I would agree that many SMB's would not have a clue what a Jumbo Frame is).

The disclaimer...

I want to end with saying that I'm a big supporter of StoreVault/NetApp and am loving my S500. However, I don't mind raising the hard questions when the situation calls for it. 🙂

Also, what happened to the Unofficial Storevault Forum that used to be around? I miss it.



Robert -

First, the "unsupported" jumbo frame support is specific to the machines we sold as StoreVault. The NIC chipset on the S500 and S550 does not support this feature, but the chipset in the S300 does. Thus, Dave Hughes was able to see results when he turned it on in his S300. I should have been more specific in my other post (and I dunno where it went either!)

Secondly, we have been planning to get a new add-in PCI NIC that supports jumbo frames qualified on the S500/S550 platform but for various reasons it keeps slipping. We see that this is a shortcoming in the product design and I want to get it fixed - just don't have a timeframe at the moment (other than something vague, like in the next six months).

Hope that helps, and thanks for posting the question.


P.S. Once we started these forums, davehughes (the webmater for the Unofficial StoreVault Help pages) suggested that we were all better served if we consolidated things. Since NetApp pays for this one it made sense to close his down.


As always, you the man Drew. Thanks for the reply and clearing it all up.

It'd be great if you could keep us all updated here on the forum as they're are probably several of us anxious for this rollout. In addition, since this is a "shortcoming" are we looking at a free or reduced price deal on this fella? Pricing information as soon as you get it would be wonderful seeing as how my 2009 budget is due in the coming weeks. Of course, I know this is all dependent on the card settled on, but maybe even a ballpark (if not free of course).