December 14, 2012

Enabling FCoE on Dell servers

Newer servers come with CNA adapters preinstalled, but it is also possible to insert additional cards if needed. In order to use FCoE on a new server you will normally need to enable it from the BIOS.

I found the setup from the Dell BIOS a bit strange, but it probably made complete sense to the developer(s) who designed this.

In ESXi 5.x you don't need any extra drivers in order to use FCoE.

The steps are as follows:

  1. During POST press F2 to enter System Setup.
  2. Choose Device Setup
  3. Choose one of the NICs
  4. Choose NIC Partitioning Configuration
  5. Choose Partition 4
  6. Set FCoE Offload Mode to enabled
  7. Save
  8. Repeat steps 3-7 for each NIC in the server

A big thank you to @SolTecLTD who pointed me in the right direction.


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