Tuesday, 8 October 2019

Mellanox SN2010 with NetApp HCI Uplinking Options - 4 Options

I couldn’t find much regards how the Mellanox SN2010 is supposed to be uplinked to customer switches (maybe I was just looking in the wrong place). The TR-4735 “NetApp HCI with Mellanox SN2010 Switch Quick Cabling Guide” is mainly concerned with the NetApp HCI nodes to switch cabling. So, I thought I’d make a guess* at the various options to uplink the Mellanox switches to the upstream network switches.

*would love feedback on whether I have guessed correctly or not.

Option 1: Upstream network switches support VPC and we are crossing links
Here, our two upstream switches support VPC across the switches.
We have MLAG 101 configured on the Mellanox with all the links in.
Mellanox A port 17 uplinks to upstream switch A.
Mellanox A port 18 uplinks to upstream switch B.
Mellanox B port 17 uplinks to upstream switch A
Mellanox B port 18 uplinks to upstream switch B.

Image: Option 1: Upstream network switches support VPC and we are crossing links

Option 2: Upstream network switches support VPC and we are not crossing links
Here, our two upstream switches support VPC across the switches.
We have MLAG 101 configured on the Mellanox with all the links in.
Mellanox A port 17 uplinks to upstream switch A.
Mellanox A port 18 uplinks to upstream switch A.
Mellanox B port 17 uplinks to upstream switch B
Mellanox B port 18 uplinks to upstream switch B.

Image: Option 2: Upstream network switches support VPC and we are not crossing links

Option 3: Upstream network switches do not support VPC and we are not crossing links
Here, our two upstream switches do not support VPC across the switches.
We have MLAG 101 configured with the Mellanox switch A links in.
We have MLAG 102 configured with the Mellanox switch B links in.
Mellanox A port 17 uplinks to upstream switch A.
Mellanox A port 18 uplinks to upstream switch A.
Mellanox B port 17 uplinks to upstream switch B
Mellanox B port 18 uplinks to upstream switch B.

In this situation I would expect spanning tree protocol (STP) to kill the uplinks from one switch (I’ve put MLAG 102 in red to denote it is down.)

Image: Option 3: Upstream network switches do not support VPC and we are not crossing links

Option 4: We just use the Mellanox for iSCSI networking and don’t uplink
In this case we would use the 6-cable networking scheme for compute nodes.
The Mellanox switches purely serve the iSCSI storage network and no need to uplink.

Blue dots are storage node connections (we have 4 storage nodes below).
Red dots are compute node connections (we have 2 compute nodes below).

Image: Option 4: We just use the Mellanox for iSCSI networking and don’t uplink

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