How to configure Fibre Channel uplink ports on Cisco UCS 6248 fabric interconnects

Posted by on February 3, 2012 in Cisco UCS | 9 comments

I recently had the opportunity to configure my first set of Cisco 6248 fabric interconnects for Cisco UCS. These are a bit different from the 6100 series FI’s that Cisco has been using since it’s release. The 6120 and 6140 fabric interconnects required an expansion module to be purchased and installed in the FI’s to achieve Fibre Channel (FC) connections. This made configuring pretty straight forward in the UCS Manager (UCSM). It was clear which ports were for FC and it just took a right click to configure them.

With the 6248 fabric interconnects they follow the path that the Nexus 5K series from Cisco have gone with all the ports being Unified Ports. Meaning they can do 1/10GigE or Fibre Channel. I like this direction because it offers more ports and greater flexibility for the FI’s and customers. But when it comes to configuring the FC uplink ports it’s not as clear as it was in the past. You would think that if you right clicked any of the ports you would be presented with an option to make the port an FC port but that’s not the case.

Below I am outlining the steps it takes to enable ports for FC uplink status.

Step 1: You will make sure you are on the equipment tab, then click on the first Fabric Interconnect. In the window to the right you will see the following options in the Actions area. You will need to click on the Configure Unified Ports option.

Step 2: You are going to see a window open that matches the one in Image 2 below. This shows a visual presentation of the ports in your fabric interconnect. The most important thing here is the somewhat obscure white slider bar that is just below the image. I have pointed an arrow to it. When you first arrive at this screen the slider will be all the way to the right, I have slide it 2 rows to the left. This will allow me to configure the last 4 ports as FC uplinks. You can adjust for what you require for your UCS design.

Image 2

Step 3: In image 3 below I have placed a box around the ports that I intend on changing to be FC Uplink ports to make sure it’s clear.

Image 3

Step 4: The last thing to do in this part of the config is to right click on each port and choose Configure as FC Uplink Port. This will allow you to connect to your switching fabric.

Image 4

Step 5: After doing this on the first FI it will tell you that it needs to reboot. Once the FI has rebooted you will need to do this same config change on the 2nd FI.

Step 6: Now when you look in the tree and find the section for FC Uplinks you will see the ports that we configured. Now make sure the proper VSAN is enabled for each port and you should be ready to proceed with the rest of your install.

I want to say thanks to my coworker “Mr UCS” Steve Pantol for the heads up on this saving me time trying to figure this out.






About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design


  1. great article Brian , I am currently connecting a cisco fiber interconnect to a EMC CLarion via a MDS switch and using FC not FCOE ,

    it looks as if I would confiugure the uplink ports as you say , I am very thankfull for this article!!! this saved me hours

  2. thanks your advice.

  3. Thank you Brian!It helped a lot!!

  4. Brian,

    I am attempting to configure several FC ports on the 6248 but when I attempt to set them to FC Storage ports, it’s not an option, only configure as FCoE Storage Port or Uplink (Ethernet) Port.

  5. Just want to add my voice to the people saying thanks.

    I did a quick google and found people talking about needing the expansion module to run FCAL – so this saved me from the embarassment of sending a sarcastic email complaining to cisco.

    Ta lots.

  6. Hi Brian,

    Just some quick questions:

    1. Where you in “end-host” mode or “switching” mode ? In terms of FibreChannel…
    2. Where you connecting to a Cisco FC switch or other vendor such has Brocade ?
    2.1. If you are connection to a Brocade switch, You would need something like NPV mode, if I’m correct, would this be the same configuration ?

    Kind regards,
    Bruno Fernandes

  7. thanks!

  8. Good explanation. Thanks!

  9. excellent post! thanks!!

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