New Cisco UCS 2204XP 2208XP Fabric Extender = 40 and 80 Gbps and Port-Channel!

The real benefit isn’t the crazy amount of bandwidth in the 2208XP. The Port-Channel  feature is what really makes it!

2208XP in new build before cabling

2208XP in new build before cabling














The backplate speed from IOM to blades is x2 what the ports equal to FI’s. So:
2204 = 80Gb to blades.
2208 = 160Gb to blades.

This is good because newer 1280 Palo cards support 20Gb per FI uplink (The Cisco UCS M81KR do not support this). The 1280 has 4x10Gb lanes per channel (FI side). That sums up to 80Gb to FI! The new 2204 and 2208 IOM’s can handle that! There is a 1240 Palo out and it is half the lanes. So 2×10 per channel.

Compair Models

Once configured you can “connect nxos a” and see the actual Port-Channel’s

UCS-A(nxos)# show port-channel summary
Flags: D – Down P – Up in port-channel (members)
I – Individual H – Hot-standby (LACP only)
s – Suspended r – Module-removed
S – Switched R – Routed
U – Up (port-channel)
Group Port- Type Protocol Member Ports
1025 Po1025(SU) Eth NONE Eth1/1(P) Eth1/2(P)
1026 Po1026(SU) Eth NONE Eth1/3(P) Eth1/4(P)
1027 Po1027(SU) Eth NONE Eth1/5(P) Eth1/6(P)
1028 Po1028(SU) Eth NONE Eth1/7(P) Eth1/8(P)
1029 Po1029(SU) Eth NONE Eth1/9(P) Eth1/10(P)
1030 Po1030(SU) Eth NONE Eth1/11(P) Eth1/12(P)

The only configuration to use Port-Channles between FI’s and IOM’s is a global hardware policy set here








Also the Hybrid Display is improved in 2.0








Links to details below

Previous to  these new IOM’s bandwidth was distributed over odd and even ports for odd and even numbers chassis slots. 40 Gbps was not truly available to any one server. Also had to uplink either with 1, 2, or 4 ports. See how the throughput flows below (pardon the very basic drawing).

Having monitored the uplinks can say the above diagram is correct.
Per IOM a blade is only going to have 20 Gbps available with 4 uplinks. The new 2204XP, 2208XP offer true port-channels so each server gets 20, 40, 80 or 160Gbps throughput shared with its peers in chassis. Only certain uplinks like a Nexus 7k can handle 160Gbps Port-Channel.


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