Dell EMC Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI encompasses various configurations of AX-740xd, AX-640, AX-6515, and AX-7525. Within each of these platforms, various chassis riser configurations may be available, which determine the total number of QLogic FastLinQ PCIe network adapters allowed. Often, the BOSS adapter and HBA330 adapter consume two of the available PCIe slots. Additionally, some models may not be able to physically accommodate the additional network adapters that are required for a switchless network topology, such as the AX-640 with a 12 2.5" hard-drive chassis configuration.
The following table lists the maximum number of QLogic FastLinQ PCIe adapters that can be physically installed into each platform.
|Available PCIe Slots for NICs||0-1||1||2-4|
The following table indicates the number of QLogic FastLinQ PCIe network adapters that are required per clustered node to create a full mesh switchless interconnect:
|2-node cluster||3-node cluster||4-node cluster|
|Single-Link Full Mesh*||Not Supported||1 QLogic FastLinQ Adapter/Node||2 QLogic FastLinQ Adapters/Node|
|Dual-Link Full Mesh||1 QLogic FastLinQ Adapter/Node||2 QLogic FastLinQ Adapters/Node||3 QLogic FastLinQ Adapters/Node|
- *For single-link full mesh interconnect topologies, a 10GbE (or faster) external management network switch connectivity is required. This network provides redundancy for storage network traffic in the case of a storage network link (cable, port, or card) failure.
- *Single-link full mesh is NOT recommended for high-performance configurations where the VM and/or storage is expected to have high throughput requirements.
- Dell EMC Solutions for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI requires that the LOM/rNDC/OCP integrated network ports be used for external management network connectivity on each server node. Ideally, these ports should be connected to redundant top-of-rack network switches.
In the event of a storage network cable or port failure on single-link full mesh topologies, storage traffic between the affected nodes are rerouted automatically over the management network. Since the management network does not support the RDMA protocol, TCP storage traffic is sent over the management network.
Dell Technologies recommends Direct Attach Copper (DAC) cabling over Active Optical Cabling (AOC) and optical transceivers, especially for direct server-to-server storage network connectivity. DAC cabling offers a cost effective, highly reliable solution for short distance data transmission. AOC and optical transceivers generally require higher power consumption from each server. Optical transceivers may also require the proper polarity of fiber optic cable in order to allow server-to-server network communication. For instances when optical cables are required, ensure that only correct Dell EMC validated, high temperature optical transceivers are used for QLogic and Mellanox 25 GbE network adapters.