ONTAP Hardware

recommended network switches



what network switches would you use when building storage network for netapp filers (with 10Gbit NICs + 1Gbit nics) with multiple server racks (each rack with its own storage switch (1Gbit)?

I will have to implement such design soon, and I have option to use currently used setup (C6503+2960G) or something else (maybe more optimal for performance)?

Thank you in advance for your answers.




Take a look at Cisco's Nexus line.  These are datacenter switches for pretty much exactly what you are doing (core uplinks for storage/server)

5000 Series: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps9670/index.html

7000 Series: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps9402/index.html

The 6500 is a modular core and or distribution (or collapsed core) layer switch designed to handle L3 routing, etc. (because routing is generally done at distribution layer).  You probably have a true core layer, requiring more advanced L2.


thank you very much for your answer, but I have a question - do these 2 switch types (6500 vs Nexus) differ in network latency/throughput? I mean, does it provide better performance to use Nexus instead of 6500 switches?

Or maybe when we use 10Gbit NICs from filers to C6503 as single VIF - that is a problem? is there any performance difference between single VIF and multi-mode VIF? (i know that more paths = better throughput, but we barely do more than 1.5Gbit from 10gbit pipe)

and I am trying to understand best network design for my new implementation (based on fas3160 heads)...


Nexus should have better performance.

I do not have hands on experience with Nexus, just marketing and talking to peers.  I think you should call your Cisco/NetApp reps and discuss this.  They will surely have a lot more insight.

Regarding your VIF question single or multimode isn't going to matter given what you said about 1.5Gb.  From a design perspective I would think there is always an argument to run in multimode.  Why spend the dollars on interfaces and not use them. 


BTW, I think I was wrong about the 7k Nexus.  It is layer 3.


Hi, and thank you very much for your reply. I really appreciate it.

Tell me one more thing - do such network switches require any "special" tweaking (apart of Jumbo Frames)?

And i also read that Netapp recommends with Cisco switches to use VSS features, what do these features provide for storage environment?

thanks in advance for your answer...