Fibre Channel Cable Support Information for Systems

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Click here for information about how to procure 500 meter optical cable.

Note: Starting with Data ONTAP™ 6.1.2, support is offered for a maximum distance of 500 meters between NetApp® systems and a Fibre Channel switch. This extended distance capability enables greater flexibility in the physical location of the systems and other storage devices.

The following are cabling requirements:

  • Must use 50 micron optical cable that meets this specification: SC-SC Duplex 50/125 Plenum Cable
  • For cable length greater than 30 meters, customers must purchase them directly from cable vendors.
  • In order to achieve the maximum 500m distance between clustered NetApp systems, the VI cluster interconnect must be a direct point-to-point optical cable with no device in between (such as a patch panel).
  • The distance between clustered systems will be reduced when the cluster interconnect is routed through an intermediate passive device (such as a patch panel) due to degradation in optical signal quality (about 0.3 dB loss per passive device). The actual distance reduction will vary. The only practical way for establishing the maximum supported distance is to test the desired configuration in actual customer environments.
  • The length of B-loop cables connecting systems to storage must match the length of the cluster interconnect. They must also use the same type of optical cable: SC-SC Duplex 50/125 Plenum Cable
  • The minimum number of optical cables required for clustered systems is three (1 for cluster interconnect, 1 for each B-loop on each clustered system). Each additional B-loop is an additional cable.