[c-nsp] switch for SAN

Andrew Miehs andrew at 2sheds.de
Sat Jan 9 01:21:11 EST 2016

On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 1:44 AM, Adam Greene <maillist at webjogger.net> wrote:
> I know running Catalyst switches for SAN backbone fabric is not the best
> idea, due to limited buffers.
> However, we have been doing just that with a 3750X and Dell Equallogic
> 6100/4100s for quite some time, with no issues.
> We are putting in a NetApp FAS3160 and need to add a switch. I see 3750X is
> EOL and Cisco positions the 3850 as its replacement. 3850 is even slightly
> less expensive than 3750X.

If a 3750X meets your needs today, a 3850 probably will as well.


What protocols are you planning on running your NetApp? NFS/ CIFS? or
are you looking at running fibre channel to your servers from the

If someone refers to SAN switches, they normally mean fibre channel switches.

Based on the fact that you are using a 3750X, it sounds like you want
an ethernet switch, which you will dedicate for running your storage
traffic on.

As asked by other people, what are you trying to do?

How many interfaces, and what speed does your NetApp have? What are
you trying to connect to? (ie: what are your servers and with what
speed to you want them to connect?)

Will your servers ALL connect to this one switch, or do you want to
run multiple switches for failover?

If you are using the NetAPP as your "office CIFS" server, this would
just plug into your normal PC network.

If you have really separated out your network for a storage network,
then, if you want to stay in the Cisco family of products, I would
probably look at switches like the N3K, N5K or N9K.

Once again, this all depends on your performance and failover
requirements, and of course, these will change the price.
Just make sure whatever you buy is fast enough to deal with the
performance you require from the Netapp, otherwise you will have spent
a lot more money than you can use...

-- Andrew

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