Follow these cabling best practices when deploying a full mesh switchless interconnect. The Dell EMC factory populates PCIe network adapters consistently, but the slot enumeration sequence depends on platform and riser configuration. PCIe slot identification is labeled on the chassis, and Port 1 and Port 2 are physically labeled on the PCIe NIC adapter bracket.
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 PCIe network adapter in the lowest slot number (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 that is in the lowest port of each incremental cluster node or nodes.
- 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, 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 rack unit (RackU), slot, and port identification to ensure that the cables are correctly connected in case a server chassis needs to be uncabled. The figures in the next 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.