Beware of EMC switches sold as Mellanox SX6XXX on eBay

Discussion in 'Networking' started by mpogr, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. mpogr

    mpogr Active Member

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    Just wanted to give heads up here that there is currently a seller from Ireland selling SX6012 switches on eBay (Mellanox SX6012 12-port Non-blocking Managed 56Gb/s InfiniBand/VPI SDN Switch) for a really low price. These are not Mellanox genuine switches and they don't run MLNX-OS! Beware and avoid disappointment!

    If you don't mind using them as unmanaged switches (Infiniband only), you can flash them with the SX6005 firmware and it'll work fine, including FDR.

    I'm currently hacking my way to still make MLNX-OS work on this switch, but it's a major hassle, involving heavy distribution modification, and still haven't been able to make it work fully. Please, PM me if you want to know more details and/or contribute to this work.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016
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  2. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    I have a 36 port version of these EMC switches with a similar issue. I have never gotten it to work.
     
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  3. mpogr

    mpogr Active Member

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    Heh, that's surely not easy. First, don't expect Mellanox to help you in any way, they won't. They won't even let you register as a customer (and get access to MLNX-OS downloads) if you provide a serial number of such a device, despite the fact it has "Mellanox" written all over the chassis and not a single word mentioning EMC. The only immediate external clue you can get is the Part Number on the sticker, the Mellanox ones start with MSX while the EMC ones contain only digits.

    However, there is still hope. I've already spent several days hacking the MLNX-OS distribution and achieved major success, it looks like I'm only missing one last bit, which is flashing the right firmware for the board. If you want details, PM me. If and when I manage to get it working, I'll post it here as well.
     
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  4. mpogr

    mpogr Active Member

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    OK, I finally made it through! Indeed, flashing the right firmware did the trick and now I have a fully functioning SX6012 switch with MLNX-OS running on it. Everything seems to be fully working, I'm now polishing some final details.

    If anyone has such a switch and wants to convert it the same way, you're welcome to PM me for the details.

    But the original warning still stands: if you want a managed Mellanox SwitchX2, try to avoid buying the EMC-branded ones, and always ask the sellers! They may not be even aware of what they're selling. Always ask for the Part Number on the sticker (better have them send/publish a photo of it) to avoid major frustration.
     
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  5. raileon

    raileon Active Member

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    Wow reading your thread just now made my day. I got delivery of a Mellanox SX6018 from this same seller a few days ago that is filled with EMC goo instead of MLNX-OS and firmware.

    I was about to put on my battle suit and go to war with this thing to try and get a real SX6018 working. Someone I spoke with on the Mellanox forums never got it to work, I think he gave up after turning it into a dumb switch but at least that seems better than the EMC version.

    I also agree about avoiding Mellanox support, my experience with them in other matters has been a complete waste of time and I was only asking for basic info on one of their products.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2016
  6. raileon

    raileon Active Member

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    Also, for folks considering picking up one of these and only have pics without any real info I think you can pick out the EMC switches by the colors. All EMC'ed Mellanox switches I've seen are black and white. Real Mellanox switches are blue and white. I'm not 100% sure that this is a rule though so YMMV.
     
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  7. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator
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    Does it work for the 36 port versions? Is it a USB install?
     
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  8. mpogr

    mpogr Active Member

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    I obviously haven't tested it, but I don't see any reason why it shouldn't. It's not a USB install, and I'm now in the process of writing a guide describing how do it. It's not a simple process, by far. Stay tuned for updates.
     
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  9. Layla

    Layla New Member

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    Any update on this? :)
     
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  10. mpogr

    mpogr Active Member

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    What kind of update you're after? The original warning stands: avoid buying these switches if you can.
    If you really want to spend some time, you can get one and PM me for the instructions on how to convert it to MLNX-OS. Be prepared for some major adventure though...
     
    #10
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  11. hardman

    hardman New Member

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    Hello dear mpogr. I've got two of those switches due to a bad eBay seller that probably didn't know that switches are not standard ones from Mellanox. I've managed to get the necessary tools, images and firmware (not sure about the last part) but I need advise and your procedure to reflash them and convert to that ones that was intended to be.

    Please, would you mind to help me with the process?

    Thanks in advance.
     
    #11
  12. i386

    i386 Well-Known Member

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    Does the emc version of this switch support vpi (=infiniband + ethernet)?
     
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  13. mpogr

    mpogr Active Member

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    After the conversion, you will be able to make it work in VPI mode.
     
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  14. hardman

    hardman New Member

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    I was going to say the same.
    Also, I'm glad to see you again Mr. Mpogr.
    Mine are working at full speed moving backups back and forth.
    Many thanks :)
     
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  15. wnefal

    wnefal New Member

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    I did purchase two of them, arrived yesterday.
    fan led is off, fans operating at full speed(?) with 70db, I can telnet into it, but I have to figure out correct terminal settings I guess, however...

    After reading this thread I got hope...
     
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  16. DaSaint

    DaSaint Active Member

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    @mpogr

    Were you able to get around the License issue for the Ethernet side with the MLNX-OS? A lot of others asked me how i got my keys, sadly thats not a method a normal person could get that kind of key.

    Just was curious more since i have had a few asks...

    Out of the box you will get IPoIB which IMO runs fine, but the ethernet key/gateway requires a specialized key thats tagged to the hardware/serial number
     
    #16
  17. mpogr

    mpogr Active Member

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    The way the conversion is done doesn't require a license for the Ethernet functionality to work properly. For more details, please, PM.
     
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  18. cheese101

    cheese101 New Member

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    So where's the guide? Is it in another thread or...?

    Could you let me know how this is done? PMing as well.
     
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  19. iekarpov

    iekarpov New Member

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    Hello mpogr!!!

    I want to update emc 6018 infiniband switch with mellanox firmware- it is possible?

    People! Help me pleaese!
     
    #19
  20. mpogr

    mpogr Active Member

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    Anyone interested in conversion, PM me.
     
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