ONTAP Discussions

FAS2554 direct attached SFP+ to Dell Server




We have currently a FAS2554 storage with 4 port UTA. 2 Port is already configure with FC and another 2 free for CNA.


Current Current Pending Pending Admin
Adapter Mode Type Mode Type Status
------- ------- --------- ------- --------- -------
0c fc target - - online
0d fc target - - online
0e cna target - - online
0f cna target - - online


We are thinking of improving the LAN speed by performing the following:


1) Purchase a new 10GbE card and install on the Dell Server.

2) Purchase direct attached cable - Active/Passive Optical ?

3) Configure the local network with IP address between FAS2554 and Dell Server for TCP/IP communication.


Note: We dont have the budget to purchase 10Gbe switches.



1) Will the above plan work?

2) For the direct attached cable, do we need the copper twinax type or we can use the normal LC-LC cable ?


Thank you.



The FAS255x onboard ports support either NetApp or Cisco branded DAC/TwinAx cables, or NetApp's X6589 10Gb Optics..


However.. what you propose is not supported, and generally will not work, except for a single controller system, or if you are only using it with iSCSI - with HA, to use ethernet, you must have a switch.


The reason is that when the system fails over, the IP will move to the other controller.. meaning you'd need a second interface on your server with the same IP address space, and Windows/Linux is unlikely to like that. There may be ways to get it work.. but it would be flaky.




This FAS2554 have only single controller and it is vault for backup purpose. Generally it is not use for production usage.


So if we get the NetApp or Cisco branded DAC/TwinAx cables connected, it will work right?


We just want to backup NDMP over this 10Gb network - simple direct connection from NetApp to the Dell Server. 


So far getting a switch is out of question, budget constraint.


Thank you.


> So if we get the NetApp or Cisco branded DAC/TwinAx cables connected, it will work right?


At an ethernet level, yes it will work. In terms of functionality, if all you are doing is NDMP, and it's a single controller, and you have a seperate IP range setup for just that link, it will very likely work, but it is not a tested or supported configuration, so may require some trial and error.




We are wondering just for a small environment for vault backup usage only, is the following entry switch supported to talk with FAS2554 ?







We are not able to get CISCO 4500X, as it is out of the range.




We only provide blessing of specific switches as part of our Cisco "Flexpod" solution, which this would not be, so I can't say this switch is specifically supported, however it does meet all the requirements for connecting the NetApp system - SFP+ ports that will take a Cisco TwinAx cable. For general utility, I might look at the 8x10GBaseT + 8xSFP+ model instead, but functionality would be the same.


For the Dell side of things, the shorter (<7M) cisco twinax cables are passive - some cards will only support "active" cables and some only support "passive", while some support both - The Intel X520 cards are an example of one that does both, but there are others.


If budget is an issue, in your position, I would try the direct attach method - it should work - but it needs to be on the understanding that a switch may be needed later. 


Hope this helps!


Thank you very much for the information. We are still awaiting for official NetApp engineer reply on this.


Typically our switch vendor mentioned that it will work without issue for normal network communication on layer 3.


Will update once I get the more information.


Thank you.


Below is the reply from NetApp


Customers are welcomed to use any switch for ethernet connectivity. Netapp doesn’t certify ethernet switches.
I checked Cisco's web site and SG550XG-24F appears to be a pretty standard switch.