This section describes cabling best practices that should be followed when deploying a full mesh switchless interconnect. QLogic FastLinQ PCIe adapters are populated from the Dell EMC factory in a consistent fashion, but slots depend on platform and riser configuration. PCIe Slot identification is labeled on the chassis and Port 1 and 2 are physically labeled on the PCIe NIC adapter.
Use the following procedure when cabling the switchless cluster nodes for single-link or dual-link full mesh storage interconnect:
- Starting with Node 1, cable the QLogic FastLinQ PCIe adapter in the lowest slot #, Port 1 to the same adapter slot, Port 1 on Node 2.
- Continue cabling a single-link on Node 1 to every other cluster node. Cable the adapter ports on Node 1 in ascending order (for example, Slot 3 Port 1, Slot 3 Port 2, Slot 4 Port 1) to the adapter in the lowest slot, lowest port of each incremental cluster node(s).
- For Node 2, cable the next available adapter port to the next available adapter port on Node 3. Then incrementally cable an additional port on Node 2 to the next available port on Node 4 (where applicable).
- For Node 3 (where applicable), cable the next available adapter port to the next available adapter port on Node 4.
- For a dual-link full mesh interconnect, repeat steps 2 to 4 beginning with the next available adapter port on each cluster node.
- Apply labels to each end of each cable with RackU, Slot, and Port identification to ensure that the cables get correctly connected in the event of a server chassis needing to be uncabled. The figures in the next few sections illustrate the AX-740xd platform to display the networks required for storage network traffic. Different platforms and riser configurations use different PCIe slots and orientations. However, the cabling guidance remains consistent with the best practices that are listed above.