Cisco MDS 9216i Multilayer Fabric Switch

Answered Question
Oct 15th, 2008
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I have a question in regards to fibre channel over ip. this switch will allow for san traffic to flow over the wan link to a remote site, however my question would be, can this switch plug into an existing fibre channel switch (EMC Connectix) and route the traffic over the link or would the current switch need to be replaced with this device?

Correct Answer by tblancha about 8 years 7 months ago

Yes, the FC device can be on another FC switch that routes over to the MDS switch that encapsulates it into FCIP. It can be done but probably not advisable to have a FC routed situation because of locality and the backup traffic going over the ISL.

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mattesong Wed, 10/15/2008 - 16:41
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currently the two EMC Connectix are 4GB fibre. Is there just a FC over IP router that Cisco makes that I can just plug into the FC switch fabric and to provide the ability to route over the WAN without replacing the current EMC switches?

Correct Answer
tblancha Wed, 10/15/2008 - 18:37
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Yes, the FC device can be on another FC switch that routes over to the MDS switch that encapsulates it into FCIP. It can be done but probably not advisable to have a FC routed situation because of locality and the backup traffic going over the ISL.

mattesong Wed, 10/15/2008 - 18:43
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Thank you! Just for my own clarification since this is the first time i am dealing with the MDS product line. I would be able to plug the MDS into the current EMC FC switch and then have the SAN that is attached to the EMC FC switch be able to route to the second SAN across the WAN link? The EMC is 4GB FC but the MDS i believe is 2GB FC, would there be a compatibility issue?

tblancha Wed, 10/15/2008 - 18:49
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Yes, think of the FCIP connection as just an ISL link abeit that it is over an IP connection. So, you are just creating a multi-switch environment. Again, it's probably not recommended to route over a FC ISL link to get to a MDS doing FCIP but also, its not the end of the world. It depends on how much the FCIP replication traffic is occuring and if you are overloading the FC ISL links. The speeds will autonegotiate to their maximum speeds and you can create portchannels to the EMC switch to consolidate bandwidth. Just turn the loadbalancing to src/dst if that emc switch is not a MDS rather than default src/dst/oxid.

mattesong Wed, 10/15/2008 - 18:52
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Wonderful, thank you. You've been very helpful.

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