NetApp’s newest storage operating system, clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT), leverages a backend of Cisco Nexus switches for it’s cluster interconnect network.
When configuring the switch/cluster ports for use with cDOT, the best practice is to turn flow control off as per TR-4182. In fact, that happens to be the recommendation for normal data ports as well. Why is that? Before we get into that, let’s cover the basics…
What is flow control?
Flow control is a mechanism used to help manage the rate of data transfer between two devices. This is done to help prevent a source evice from overwhelming a destination device by sending more packets than the destination can handle. These scenarios can occur if a source device is faster than the destination device (CPU, RAM, NIC, etc). This can also happen if the source is intentionally trying to flood the destination via a malicious Denial of Service (DoS) attack.
Flow control can be enacted for send or receive packets, or both. It can be hardware or software based. It can occur at multiple layers of the OSI model
For a real world analogy to flow control, think of how dams work. A dam will be installed to control the flow of water on a river, usually to create lakes or reservoirs. Dams can be used to adjust the water flow to prevent flooding, depending on rainfall. Network flow control does pretty much the same thing – it prevents data floods. Read More »
Tags: #ciscochampion, advanced flow control, Cisco Catalyst 6500, Cisco Nexus Switches, NetApp Storage Solutions
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Tags: ASA Adaptive Security Appliance, FlexPod, Intel, NetApp Storage Solutions, nexus, security, UCS, Unified Computing System Management