Is it possible/advisable to connect a server with a RAID 5 NVMe array and a MCX515A-CCAT installed directly to four compute servers each with a MCX511F-ACAT installed using a MCP7F00-A002R30N cable? Trying to avoid purchasing an expensive 100Gbe switch when we don’t really need one.
Are these the instructions I would follow to do so:
Or are there newer instructions now that mainline Linux kernels have built-in support?
Thechicaly, direct connection is possible, but practically, I would strongly suggest to use a 100G switch in-between the RAID-subsystem server & the rest of compute servers, and not direct-connection topology. In particularly, when it comes to Storage initiator-target efficient communication
There are many reasons to use a switch in-between, but I’ll focus on 3 major reasons:
If & when decided to use FC (flow-control) or PFC mode with a lossless & fluent trafic, then the switch will provide a robust W/R non-disruptive communication
Better routing capabilities
full sync & compatibilities with Mellanox server divers & Mellanox adapter’s fw, in term of RDMA storage-protocols, such as NVMEoF, iSER etc
In close, it is worthwhile investing in a Mellanox 100G switch but then you have a harmonic & fluent system workability