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carioq
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Ethernet over Fibre channel

Hi, good evening...  I am using ESXI 6.7 CU3 on two whiteboxes,.

Recently  I had some trouble with Infiniband adapters,  found that someone sold me a  switch without management, I also bought cards not recognised by VMware because IBM has put in a foreign device ID etc etc. Until  VMware compatible Infiniband hardware has arrived I tried something else.

In the past I got a Netapp device for free and got  myself a crosslink optical cable. But the Netapp did not have a license, so I gave it away, but kept the FC cards and the cables.

So I put the two Qlogic 4 GBit FC cards into my two whiteboxes, VMware finds them and shows them as HBA to me.

But my question now... how can I use them as Ethernet adapters? The use case is very rare,exotic and the internet knows nothing about it except one guy who said that the 32-128 Gbit  FC devices and the switches from Brocade / Cisco will do EoFC. Just switch on and go for it... i

My question: is there any possiblity or even hack to have Ethernet over FC in VMware? 

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carioq
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I did some research, and  the one and only 4 GB FC adapter that ever had TCP-IP as supported protocol is the QLE2460 / 2462

The Qlogic 8 and 16 Gbit models don't have this protocol any more and the two  adapters I already have are called   ISP2432-based, maybe QLE2432 in ESX, and when doing passthrough to a Windows guest with such an adapter it shows up as QLogic storage adapter.

I found a hint here:

Direct connection between two Fibre Channel HBAs - what cable is required? - Ars Technica OpenForum

and the  Dell datasheet

https://www.cybernetech.co.jp/pdf/qle2460.pdf

that states this exists in real world, but only there... this datasheet is not at Dell any more but in an archive of such datasheets in Japan.

And here is a guy who  wrote a hookup driver, basically doing IP over SCSI,  calling sort of user mode on an 8 GBit HBA that  has no support for IP officially 

Hacking Ethernet out of Fibre Channel cards - News Himalaya

but this is  just over a lot of side ways... or someone writes a full IP stack for this driver in c++ for Redhat and mod it in  a way that it will become a network card driver.

The FC driver seems to be open source, maybe a project fo r the future, who knows? One guy said that  you can do a lot like building your own driver and add it to ESX but can't remember where I found that.

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