Cisco FCIP and SRDF

Been a while since I’ve written anything – I’m not even sure if I still have a readership.

I’ve been working an average of 60 hours a week on a single project these days.  Doing a datacenter migration and consolidation.  Basically moving 4 Symm-5 generation systems into a single DMX-3.

The funniest part of this has been learning the DMX-3, which I’ve not had a lot of stick-time with.  It seems like a great machine, a good hybrid of the Clariion and the Symmetrix.  I don’t much care for the DAE back-end, too many major points of failure, too many cables.  (Though when you do your first code-load on one, it sure gives you a work-out as far as learning what plugs in where.)

Anyway, as the title suggests, we’re doing a large part of this migration using temporary hardware, in the form of the Cisco MDS9216i.  This is a normal MDS 92xx chassis (2-slot) with a 14/2 FCIP blade in it.  Simply 14x4gbit FC ports and 2xGig-E ports on the same blade.  So far it’s been one challenge after another, and as of this posting we still don’t have the georgia and new-york datacenters talking to each other.

Part of the problem is the customer’s network infrastructure.  Namely it sucks.  For those who don’t know, Gig-E ports on the Cisco don’t negotiate down, they are essentially 1000-SX ports.  The customer, who makes a substantial part of their income off network traffic, doesn’t have a single Gig-E port in the entire datacenter. – that was problem number one.

Problem #2 was, in the datacenter that does have Gigabit available, namely the new in in Georgia, there is no optical available.  So we have to go through the painful process of getting an RPQ (an in-exact definition is “Request for Price Quote” – what it really means is getting engineering to bless the configuration) to use copper SFP’s on the MDS switches.

*THEN* we find out we’re replciating over a DS3 circuit, and even at that that we have to “nice” our hardware down to 12.5Meg/Sec so as to not affect their production traffic, which is (of course) running on the same network.  (SRDF has a nasty habit of sucking up all available bandwidth)

Do you know how long it takes to replciate terabytes of data at 12Meg?  LOL

This is going to be fun.  I’ll keep you posted.


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