NetApp FAS2500 Overview – FAS2520, FAS2552, FAS2554

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In this NetApp training video tutorial I give a guided tour of the FAS2500 series platforms – the FAS2520, FAS2552 and FAS2554. I explain the hardware architecture and available ports on the back of the controllers.

 

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See my next post for a tour of the FAS8000 platforms.

 

The FAS2520, FAS2552, and FAS2554 Controllers.

 

The 2520 and FAS2552 come in a 2U chassis and we can be purchased with either a single controller or two controllers in the chassis. Two controllers provide high availability. The 2520 and FAS2552 come with two redundant power supplies.

 

The FAS2554 has a larger 4U chassis. It also comes with either a single or two controllers, but it has four power supplies.

 

NetApp FAS2520, FAS2552, and FAS2554

NetApp FAS2520, FAS2552, and FAS2554

 

The Processor Control Module (PCM) is the actual controller which fits in the chassis. The controllers are very similar across the three different models. Actually for the FAS2552 and FAS2554 they’re identical.

 

FAS2500 Ports

 

The difference on the FAS2520 is the ports in the middle of the controller. On the FAS2520 they are 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports which support the NAS protocols of NFS and CIFS and the SAN protocol of iSCSI, but we can’t run Fibre Channel or FCOE on the FAS2520.

 

NetApp FAS2520 Ethernet only Ports

NetApp FAS2520 Ethernet only Ports

 

On the FAS2552 and the FAS2554, the four parts in the middle are Unified Target Adapter (UTA) ports. These can be configured as either 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports which include support for Fiber Channel over Ethernet, or they can be configured as native Fibre Channel ports.

 

Ethernet and Fibre Channel are different all the way down to Layer 1 in the OSI stack so you need to fit the correct hardware transceiver for either Ethernet or Fibre Channel, and you also need to specify the selected type in the ONTAP software configuration. UTA cards support all NAS and SAN protocols – CIFS, NFS, iSCSI, Fibre Channel and FCoE.

 

FAS2552 and FAS2554 Unified Target Adapter UTA Ports

FAS2552 and FAS2554 Unified Target Adapter UTA Ports

 

Looking at the other ports on the back of the FAS2500 starting on the left… We’ve got 2 SAS ports which are used for connectivity to our optional external disk shelves.

 

FAS2500 SAS Ports

FAS2500 SAS Ports

 

Then we’ve got the 4 parts which are 10 Gigabit Ethernet on the FAS2520, and UTA ports on the FAS2552 and FAS2554.

 

FAS2500 10Gb Ethernet or UTA Ports

FAS2500 10Gb Ethernet or UTA Ports

 

The next port along is the console port which is labelled as ‘IOIOI’. This provides direct management access without the need for IP connectivity, and can be used for the initial setup of this system and also for out of band management traffic. The console port is used for management traffic only.

 

FAS2500 Console Port

FAS2500 Console Port

 

Underneath the console port there’s a USB port which is not currently in use but might be enabled in future versions.

 

FAS2500 USB Port

FAS2500 USB Port

 

The the next port along is our management port. This is an Ethernet port which is dedicated for management traffic.

 

FAS2500 Management Port

FAS2500 Management Port

 

Under there we have our Alternate Control Path (ACP) port. It’s an Ethernet port which, along with our SAS ports, provides connectivity to any external disk shelves. An ACP connection to external disk shelves is optional but highly recommended. When used, the data plane traffic (the actual data reads and writes) is carried over the SAS connections, and the control plane traffic (control commands between the controller and shelf) are carried over the ACP connections. If ACP is not used, the SAS connections are capable of carrying both the data and control plane traffic.

 

FAS2500 Alternate Control Path Port

FAS2500 Alternate Control Path Port

 

Finally, we have two 1Gigabit Ethernet ports on the right-hand side. Along with the 10Gb Ethernet or UTA ports, these they can be used for connectivity to our clients for NFS, CIFS, and iSCSI protocol access.

 

FAS2500 1Gb Ethernet Ports

FAS2500 1Gb Ethernet Ports

 

Want to practice on your laptop? Download my free step-by-step guide ‘How to Build a NetApp ONTAP Lab for Free’

Additional Resources

 

NetApp FAS2500 product page

NetApp FAS2500 Series product comparison

 

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