The Dell Networking MXL blade switch delivers performance and scalability in a flexible package to meet the shifting demands of your business and data center. The MXL switch also has enhanced bandwidth, performance and flexibility to satisfy the changing demands of data centers embracing virtualization, network convergence and other I/O-intensive applications or workloads.It’s features include:"
- Scalability & Modular to Fit Your Business – The MXL can be easily upgraded with FlexIO modules to add 40GbE QSFP+, 10GbE SFP+, 10GBase-T ports, or 2/4/8G Fibre Channel . This port flexibility allows you to add 1, 10 or 40GbE ports as your data center grows. This port flexibility allows you to add 1, 10 or 40 GbE ports along with 2/4/8G Fibre Channel according to your individual business needs
- Highest Performance in a Blade Switch – The MXL is Dell’s first 40GbE enabled blade switch. The introduction of this high performance, low latency switch builds on Dell’s leadership of 40Gb Ethernet shipments.
- Highest Density in a Single Blade Switch - The MXL is scalable up to six 40GbE ports., providing up to twenty four 10 GbE ports from a single blade switch using breakout cables.
- Stackable for Simplified Management – The MXL can be stacked, allowing up to six M1000e switches to be managed using a single IP address. Stacking consolidates ports and provides a cost effective pay-as-you-grow aggregation solution..
Figure 1: Dell Switch
- Converged Networking - With the Dell Networking MXL switch, you can converge your SAN & LAN networks using FIP Snooping and connect to your existing FCoE forwarding device. The Networking MXL switch is fully IEEE DCB compliant and supports a number of converged Ethernet and Fibre-Channel based storage applications.
- Feature Rich Dell Networking OS9 – The OS9 operating system provides predictable, reliable network performance while reducing operations and management overhead. OS9 uses Industry Standard CLI with Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching and routing support and powers some of the largest and most demanding data center environments in the world.
- Interoperability with Dell Storage The Dell Networking MXL Blade Switch has been validated for use as part of an EqualLogic Storage Area Network and will be added to the Validated Components List for EqualLogic for use with any 10Gb EqualLogic PS Series array.
- Fiber channel standards. FC-PH Rev. 4.3, FC-PH-2, FC-PH-3, FC-GS-3
The MXL product page can be found here.
Dell Fibre Channel FlexIO Module
With the announcement of the Fibre Channel Flex IO Module, Dell now offers 4 Flex IO modules which can be added or swapped as needed according to your business needs. Below is a list of each module and relevant specifications for each
Figure 2: Dell Fibre Channel FlexIO Module
The Dell FC FlexIO module uses NPIV Proxy Gateway (NPG) technology, which provides the capability to use converged FCoE inside the M1000e chassis while maintaining traditional unconverged Ethernet and native Fibre Channel outside of the M1000e. With the FC FlexIO module, the MXL provides bridging capabilities between Ethernet and Fibre Channel via FCoE. The MXL manages the following items when the FC FlexIO module is installed:
1. DCB (PFC, ETS and DCBx)
2. FIP discovery and initialization
3. FLOGI and FDISC conversion process
4. FIP keep alives
For communication outside the chassis, the MXL directs all Ethernet traffic out the external Ethernet ports (these ports can be in DCB or non-DCB mode) and convert all FCoE packets to native FC packets and directs them out the native Fibre Channel ports of the FC FlexIO module(s). The MXL acts as an NPG connecting the converged network adapters (CNAs) in the servers to the external Fibre Channel
fabric. When the FC FlexIO module is installed, the MXL appears as an FCF to the CNAs while the FC FlexIO ports appear as NPIV N_ports (i.e. HBA ports) to the external Fibre Channel Fabric.
Note: The MXL NPIV Proxy Gateway does not currently provide fabric services.
YouTube Video 1: NPIV N_ports
Dell FC Flex IOM -- Overview and 3 -step deployment of FCoE in NPIV Proxy Gateway (NPG) mode
YouTube Video 2:
Deployment of FCoE