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NX-OS SAN

posted Nov 18, 2013, 3:40 PM by Rick McGee   [ updated May 5, 2014, 5:22 PM ]
What makes up a SAN?

  •  Three high level components
    • Storage Arrays
    • SAN Switches
    • Host Bus Adapters (HBA's)

  • Storage Arrays
    • Physical disk enclosures
      • Offers block level storage access to servers
      • Can be JBOD (just a bunch of disks) or RAID
      • Typically multiple levels of redundancy
        • Redundant Power, Disks, I/O controllers, etc.
      • SAN is not to be confused with DAS or NAS (File Level Storage need OS)
        • Direct Attached Storage (DAS)
          • Servers local physical disks
        • Network Attacked Storage (NAS)
          • NFS and CIFS/SMB file shares
      • Storage Arrays Typically support three interfaces types
        • Fibre Channel (FC) - this is the most common
        • iSCSI -low to mid-range arrays
        • Native FCoE - newer arrays
          • 10GE ports dedicated for storage E.g. N5K/N7K

  • SAN Switches
    • Connect servers to storage
      • Traditionally FC to FC switches
      • Server is called the INITIATOR
      • Storages is call the TARGET
    • Like IP routers, can do protocol conversions
      • FC to iSCSI
      • FC to FCOE
      • FC to FCIP
    • Directors vs. Switches
      • Director class switches just have more:
        • High Port density
        • Higher Redundancy (power, supervisors, line cards)
    • Host Bus Adapters (HBA's)
      • NIC card for SAN
        • Connect server and storage to SAN switches
      • Typically three types of HBA's
        • Fibre Channel HBA's
          • SAN Traffic Only
          • 1/2/4/8/16Gbps
        • iSCSI HBA's
          • 1/10Gbps LAN plus iSCSI hardware offload
        • FCoE Converged Network Adapter (CNA)
          • E.g. UNIFIED FABRIC
          • 10Gbps LAN Plus FCoE hardware offload
          • Different generations of adapters.
    • Nexus 5500 Unified Ports
      • Nexus 5548UP and 5596UP support "Unified Ports"
        • All ports can run as 1/10GE or 1/2/4/8 Native FC
      • N5K UP Caveats
        • FC ports start at the end of the module and count down
          • e.g.. 32,21,30,29, etc.
        • Changing mode from Ethernet to FC requires a reboot
          • "slot 1" (5596 will have 4 Slots)
          • "Port 24-32 type fc"
    • NX-OS Fibre Channel

    • Nexus 7000 and FCoE
      • Nexus 7K is an Ethernet switch only
        • Doesn't support native FC like the 5K's
        • Does however support FCoE
      • N7K FCoE requirements
        • Supported only on F1 and F2 modules
          • F2 currently requires SUP2/2E and 6.1(1)
        • Storage must live in it's own VDC
          • Special "Storage VDC
          • Like an MDS inside of N7K

  • DC LAB Exam SAN Hardware
    • MDS 9222i (i= IP SAN protocols) v5.2(2)
      • The version is NX-OS not SAN OS
    • Nexus 5548UP v5.1(3)
      • SFP Optics for Fibre Channel at layer 1 are different then Ethernet
    • Nexus 7009 v6.0(2) with SUP1, 10GE F1 module , 10GE M1 module 
    • UCS-6248 Fabric Interconnects v2.0(1x)
    • Palo and Emulex mezzanine CNA (Converged Network Adapters)
    • Cisco Data Center Manger Software v5.2(2)
      • Used to manage the SAN network 
    
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