QLogic 10Gb CNA for IBM System x and IBM Power : Connectivity Issues

QLogic 10Gb CNA for IBM System x and IBM Power : Connectivity Issues

I ran into an isse with a couple of X3650 M3 servers recently where after connetcing the Cisco TwinAx cables, linking the CNA’s to a Nexus 5000 switch, the cards did not seem to function properly:

  1. The SAN and LAN LED’s flashed at the same time, slowly. Looking at the product hardware manual this indicated the CNA did not have a connection!
  2. Ethernet connectivity appeared to work via one port but not the other
  3. The QLogic teaming utility was unreliable/unstable when configuring a network team using the CNA ports
  4. Once teamed, when disconnecting a single cable the team would not failover
  5. Disabling/enabling a port in Windows caused the system to become unresponsive
  6. The qlvt.exe applictaion kept hanging causing the system to be unresposive / hang on restart requiring a hard reset.

After rebuiling the OS on the servers, installing newer driovers ( and the most recent firmware I eventually started to look further down the stack.

I eventually set my sights on the physical cables; using the following command we were able to identify the cable in use (it was at a remote site):  sh interface e1/30 transceiver calibrations

    transceiver is present
    type is SFP-H10GB-CU5M
    name is CISCO-MOLEX    
    part number is 74752-9047     
    revision is 07 
    serial number is MOC15144945    
    nominal bitrate is 10300 MBit/sec
    Link length supported for copper is 5 m
    cisco id is —
    cisco extended id number is 4

The part number relates to a passive 10GB TwinAx cable, note passive. After some more digging it was identified that the IBM card only supported active cables as identified in the supported IBM Cables here: http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0720.html

The cables have now been swapped for active cables and the issues above have all disappeared.