Brocade EMC MP-8000B

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by rsq, May 16, 2015.

  1. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    The Brocade EMC MP-8000B switch is available on ebay.

    It looks very cheap for 24 ports 10 GBe + 8 ports 8GB fc. It is only layer 2, but other then that I could find no downsides to it.

    Am i overlooking someting, or would this be a good cheap way to go 10 GBe for more then 4 computers?

    Any thoughts on it?
     
  2. bds1904

    bds1904 Gawd

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    If I remember correctly it has really high power usage, like 300w idle or something like that.

    Other than that it is a pretty interesting switch. Paired with brocade 1020's in the servers and an napp-it server running FC targets you could have an entire storage & networking setup for a decent price.
     
  3. haileris

    haileris Limp Gawd

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    Isnt the trouble with brocade that it will only work with brocade cables (perhaps nic's as well). Not conclusive, just an initial view when I was looking to buy something similar.
     
  4. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    I know the brocade gear is picky for the cables/SFPs but fiberstore sells compatible SFPs for not a lot of money. I am not worried about that. (It helps that I have a big box full of OM4 fibre)

    Good catch about the power consumption. 306 watts nominal. 350 max. My guess is that it will consume a bit less when SFP modules are used. Fibre cabling tends to use a lot less power then twinax.

    306 Watts in 1U also means that it will be properly loud.

    One other concern is that EMC may have b0rked the firmware. If I buy one, I will go for the brocade branded one.
     
  5. magnetik

    magnetik Moderator Staff Member

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    doesn't brocade have some bs license to activate ports? I remember taking one on a trade a while back and had to deal with it.
     
  6. bds1904

    bds1904 Gawd

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    Yes, when buying used brocade switches you have to be sure it is licensed appropriately. All the switches come with a base license, then you buy an expansion license to populate the remaining ports.

    Good practice to get the seller to display the licenses from the command line or web interface.
     
  7. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    Also interesting point bds1904.

    Would I need the licenses to use the 10gig ports? I am only looking for ethernet. FCOE is not needed. (Would be nice though)
     
  8. bds1904

    bds1904 Gawd

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    :confused::confused:
    AFAIK the base license includes all but 8 of the 10gb ports. If you can get a fully licensed switch, go for it.
     
  9. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    Allow me to necromance my ow thread here. :)

    I found a switch with the proper licenses on it and it's on its way to my place. Delivery expected somewhere next week :)

    Will post my experiences here.
     
  10. bds1904

    bds1904 Gawd

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    How much did you end up paying for it? It's too bad your not going to play with FCoE, it's a pretty neat setup.
     
  11. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    Ebay list price was 549$.

    I ended up paying just under 700 euros for it, including shipping and customs...

    I have no idea what that is in $us since the Greeks said no and f****** the exchange rate. I do know I had to hurry because it became more expensive each day. (+20 euros in 24Hrs)

    I don't need the FCoE, doesn't mean I wont play with it though :)

    Still in transit ...
     
  12. TeleFragger

    TeleFragger Gawd

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    interesting ... i was just looking into some interesting things but im going to start my own thread.. LOL.. why not huh...
     
  13. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    Ok, switch arrived and appears to be working. Unfortunately, I leave on vacation tomorrow, and you all will have to wait a bit for the full review. :)

    Small teaser:
    Fans are intolerably loud when at full speed during boot, but once the system is more or less booted, it becomes quite doable. Far less noisy than my Infiniband switch.
     
  14. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    I managed to get access to the switch, setup login and ip config via the serial connection. I now have access to the switch.

    It seems a very complicated device to setup, but very flexible.

    I would like to update the firmware and reset it to factory configuration, but I don't know what that will do to the installed licenses. If anyone knows for sure what will happen, please tell me :)
     
  15. mazedk

    mazedk n00b

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    check if you can find the license file / license key somewhere on the switch flash. Might be a good point to save it :)
     
  16. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    The licenses are just the numbers visible with the licenseshow command. They are tied to the switch and can be reinstalled with licenseadd command. Full factory reset is not advisable, but config can be deleted. This does not affect the licenses.

    Updating the software on it should also not affect the licensing.

    Will try it tonight.
     
  17. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    No joy in updating the firmware yet. Apparently Brocade requires a support contract before it makes downloads of the FabricOS updates available. If there is an "alternate" source for the update files, I have not found it yet.

    I was able to reset the config and configure my VLANs. There definately is a learning curve with this thing.

    BTW, my power meter says the thing eats 240 Watts from the wall. with only 10 SFP's populated.
     
  18. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    I got the FCoE working. :)

    This was the last thing I wanted to get working. Now it does all the things I want it to do.

    I am a happy nerd now.
     
  19. bds1904

    bds1904 Gawd

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    lol, nice. FCoE is a pretty neat deal. What do you have serving targets?

    There isn't finding any firmware updates, so what you have is what you get. That being said, i haven't really ever had a "problem" with Brocade's firmware.
     
  20. rsq

    rsq Limp Gawd

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    My storage server is serving the FC luns. I am serving up ZFS on Linux ZVOLs using the LIO SCSI target in the Linux kernel to be specific. (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS) Its a sweet setup, hugely powerful, and no software costs.

    BTW, I managed to obtain the latest firmware via the IBM website. I told them I have an IBM branded brocade device.

    Latest firmware that is compatible with the switch is Fabric OS 7.1.2b. I didn't install the update yet but the download was 800 meg and looks legit.
     
  21. techknight1

    techknight1 n00b

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    I am considering the purchase of an MP-8000B as well. Are you still using yours and have you had any issues with it. I am looking for someone with experience with the units that can tell all. I tried a couple of Force10 S5000's but their latency was unreal.
     
  22. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    I have a Cisco 4948 10 ge ... it's like 260 watts idle. Sucks man.

    If your hella bent on 10gig order one of those netgear 10 gig business dumb switches.
     
  23. techknight1

    techknight1 n00b

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    I don't think that would hold up to 2x Dell PowerEdge VRTX with 4x M620's each and Solaris 11.4 as a Fibre Channel storage server running on a Dell R820. Besides that, I am not a real big fan of netgear or dumb switches.

    I have tried a Dell M1000e Bladecenter and a Dell/Force10 S5000, both of which are so loud that you can't even hear yourself think. The M1000e heats up a room by 10 degrees in about 30 minutes. The S5000 was loud but didn't work all that well and introduced a lot of latency into the storage network no matter how I configured FCoE. I was using QLogics QLE8262 cards and Solaris 11.4.

    I just wanted to know how loud and what fan models were used in the Brocade/EMC 8000 and maybe I can replace them with a fan that is a little bit quieter.