Understanding Node Devices

 

Node devices in a QFabric system provide a way for servers, storage devices, and external networks to connect to the QFabric system. By understanding the role of Node devices, you can design your QFabric system topology to take advantage of the unique benefits offered by a single-tier data center architecture.

Node Device Introduction

A Node device in the QFabric system connects either endpoint systems (such as application servers and storage devices) or external networks to Interconnect devices. It can be used similarly to the way a top-of-rack switch is implemented in a data center. Node devices provide an access point to the QFabric system, allowing data to flow into and out of the QFabric system. Because all Node devices in the QFabric system connect through a backplane of Interconnect devices, in essence all Node devices are connected to one another. This directly connected design model eliminates multiple tiers of aggregation and core devices and provides minimum latency, maximum scalability, and rapid transport of server-to-server traffic and QFabric system-to-external network traffic.

Sets of Node devices can be bundled together into Node groups, in which each group operates as a single virtual entity. Node groups that connect to servers and storage devices are known as server Node groups, and Node groups that connect to external networks are known as network Node groups.

QFX3500 Node Devices

A QFX3500 Node device provides up to 48 10-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces to connect to endpoints or external networks. You can configure 12 of these 48 interfaces to support 2-Gbps, 4-Gbps, or 8-Gbps Fibre Channel. You can also configure the remaining 36 interfaces with Gigabit Ethernet.

Note

You can configure interface ports 0 through 47 as 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, 0 through 5 and 42 through 47 as Fibre Channel over Ethernet ports, and 6 through 41 as Gigabit Ethernet ports. However, you cannot configure any Fibre Channel over Ethernet ports as Gigabit Ethernet ports or vice versa.

In addition to these server and network interfaces, there are four uplink interfaces to connect the QFX3500 Node device to Interconnect devices in a QFabric system. These uplinks use 40-Gbps quad small form-factor pluggable plus (QSFP+) interfaces.

The control plane requires two management ports on the QFX3500 chassis to connect the Node device to the control plane network. Figure 1 shows an example of the data plane and control plane connections for a QFX3500 Node device.

Figure 1: QFX3500 Data Plane and Control Plane Connections
QFX3500 Data Plane and Control Plane Connections

QFX3600 Node Devices

A QFX3600 Node device provides 16 40-Gbps QSFP+ interfaces. By default, 4 interfaces (labeled Q0 through Q3) are configured for 40-Gbps uplink connections between your QFX3600 Node device and your Interconnect device, and 12 interfaces (labeled Q4 through Q15) use QSFP+ direct-attach copper (DAC) breakout cables or QSFP+ transceivers with fiber breakout cables to support 48 10-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces for connections to either endpoint systems or external networks. Optionally, you can choose to configure the first eight interfaces (Q0 through Q7) for uplink connections between your Node device and your Interconnect devices, and interfaces Q2 through Q15 for 10-Gigabit Ethernet or 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections to either endpoint systems or external networks.

The control plane requires two management ports on the QFX3600 chassis to connect the Node device to the control plane network. Figure 2 shows an example of the data plane and control plane connections for a QFX3600 Node device.

Figure 2: QFX3600 Data Plane and Control Plane Connections
QFX3600 Data Plane and Control Plane Connections

QFX5100 Node Devices

Three models of the QFX5100 line of switches are supported as Node devices on a QFabric system:

  • QFX5100-48S

  • QFX5100-48T

  • QFX5100-24Q

Figure 3 shows an example of the data plane and control plane connections for a QFX5100 Node device.

Figure 3: QFX5100 Data Plane and Control Plane Connections
QFX5100 Data Plane and Control Plane Connections
  • QFX5100-48S

    A QFX5100-48S Node device provides 48 10-Gigabit Ethernet interfaces to connect to endpoints or external networks and 6 40-Gbps QSFP+ interfaces. By default, 4 of the QSFP+ interfaces (labeled fte-0/1/0 through fte-0/1/1) are configured for 40-Gbps uplink connections between your Node device and your Interconnect devices, and 2 QSFP+ interfaces (labeled xle-0/1/4 and xle-0/1/5) provide 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections to either endpoint systems (such as servers and storage devices) or external networks. Optionally, you can choose to configure the middle two interfaces (xle-0/1/8 and xle-0/1/15) for10-Gigabit Ethernet or 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections to either endpoint systems or external networks, and you can choose to configure the last two interfaces (fte-0/1/4 and fte-0/1/5) for uplink connections between your Node device and your Interconnect devices.

  • QFX5100-48T

    A QFX5100-48T Node device provides 48 10GBASE-T interfaces to connect to endpoints or external networks and 6 40-Gbps QSFP+ interfaces.

    By default, 4 of the QSFP+ interfaces (labeled fte-0/1/0 through fte-0/1/3) are configured for 40-Gbps uplink connections between your Node device and your Interconnect devices, and 2 QSFP+ interfaces (labeled xle-0/1/4 and xle-0/1/5) provide 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections to either endpoint systems (such as servers and storage devices) or external networks. Optionally, you can choose to configure the middle two interfaces (xle-0/1/8 and xle-0/1/15) for10-Gigabit Ethernet or 40-Gigabit Ethernet connections to either endpoint systems or external networks, and you can choose to configure the last two interfaces (fte-0/1/4 and fte-0/1/5) for uplink connections between your Node device and your Interconnect devices.

  • QFX5100-24Q

    A QFX5100-24Q Node device provides 24 QSFP+ interfaces fte-0/1/0 through fte-0/1/7as uplinks and xle-0/1/8 to xle-0/1/23 as endpoint systems or external networks.

    The QFX5100-24Q has two expansion bays. With the optional QFX-EM-4Q expansion modules, the QFX5100-24Q can provide an additional 8 40-Gbps interfaces that are channelized into 10G ports. The QFX-EM-4Q expansion modules only support 40 Gigabit XLE interfaces. Valid interfaces are in the range ofxle-0/2/0 to xle-0/2/3 for the first expansion module and from xle-0/3/0to xle-0/3/3 in the second expansion module.

The control plane requires two management ports on the QFX5100 chassis to connect the Node device to the control plane network.