Brocade BR-VDX6720-24-R

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
389
33
28
Just scored one of these on ebay for $595. I had two vsphere hosts and a storage server in a triangular mesh using x520-da2 nics. A backup storage appliance is virtualized. I want to move the virtual backup appliance to a 4th host, but that is problematic. I can still do a crossover mesh, since each nic has 2 ports, but that's the end of the line. Both the current and 4-way approach suffer from the shortcoming that the two vsphere hosts need to connect to different IP subnets, since OmniOS (the storage appliance OS) doesn't let you assign an IP to a bridge interface, so I would need to assign an IP to one of the two OmniOS 10gb interfaces, and if the corresponding vsphere host goes down, the other vsphere host loses connectivity too :( Hoping this won't be too loud :)
 
Aug 2, 2015
70
26
18
39
Great deal! I should look into Brocade gears on eBay too. By the way, any idea if you can get Brocade firmware updates without support contract like the Dell switches?
 

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
389
33
28
Sorry, no idea. First brocade gear I've ever owned. I don't care about things like LACP, VLAN or anything else - just want basic, vanilla 10gb ethernet (possibly with jumbo frames...)
 

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
389
33
28
Okay, so far, good news. It's noisy as hell when booting (the POST takes several minutes, but you can speed that up with a config change.) The fans are in the power supplies. The good thing is once it is up and running, it gets *much* quieter. I had to nuke the config it came with, and playing around with it now...
 

Jerry Renwick

Active Member
Aug 7, 2014
202
37
28
39
Yes, that's the good news !
But do you have any idea how to reduce the noise when booting? It might be too loud.
 

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
389
33
28
Hopefully you are booting a switch very infrequently.
Beat me to it :)

The one caveat: none of my DA cables work with it. Looking at syslog messages, it complains about incompatible SFP transceivers, and admins the ports down :( I did find 4 1M active twinax cables on ebay for pretty cheap ("new other"). Some google-fu turned up that the brocades do not support passive twinax. Oh well... Once POST is done, it is whisper quiet.
 

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
11,814
4,765
113
Beat me to it :)

The one caveat: none of my DA cables work with it. Looking at syslog messages, it complains about incompatible SFP transceivers, and admins the ports down :( I did find 4 1M active twinax cables on ebay for pretty cheap ("new other"). Some google-fu turned up that the brocades do not support passive twinax. Oh well... Once POST is done, it is whisper quiet.
We saw that with the old and inexpensive Brocade 10Gb cards as well.
 

GCM

Active Member
Aug 24, 2015
137
43
28
I just want to say I'm jealous you were able to score the brocade for such a great price!
 

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
389
33
28
Well, very frustrated. The new DA cables just arrived. 1M Proline twinax active. I plug them in, and now I no longer get the unsupported SFP transceiver message, but the brocade instantly admins down the port. 'show media' shows nothing present. There are no other errors or messages, just that it was admin'ed down :( I'm stuck with the switch, but I can return the proline DA cables within 14 days if need be. Any thoughts? Thanks!
 

dswartz

Active Member
Jul 14, 2011
389
33
28
Follow-up: the proline cables were not compatible. Returned for refund and got official brocade cables. Those worked, only I was getting 1-2gb/sec and tens of thousands of CRC errors. After much experimentation, I concluded it is a bug in the OmniOS ixgbe driver (or something related), since I could run iperf between the two vsphere hosts and get 8-9gb/sec. The bad performance was between the two OmniOS hosts (or either vsphere host and either OmniOS host.) Installed ESOS on a flash drive and rebooted the one host, and voila, 7-9gb/sec and no CRC errors. Glad I got it working, but this was frustrating :)
 

koisama

New Member
Oct 22, 2018
14
2
3
Got this switch a month ago, but only started using it yesterday, after I finally got nics and fiber cables.
Can't say I'm happy - switch takes 15 minutes to boot and is extremely loud even after fans spin down - can be heard behind a closed door.

And I'm having same transceiver issue, just with MGBSX1 cisco transceivers instead of DACs. I wanted to have a 2x1G LACP link between brocade and SG300 and had spare transceivers around, but no luck - brocade admin downs the port as soon as I plug the cisco transceiver. Looks like I'll need brocade-branded ones if I want to run it the way I planned.

the POST takes several minutes, but you can speed that up with a config change.
Google-fu fails me, I can't find anything about speeding it up. And of course there's nothing in admin guide.