Question about general SAN switches and brocades

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Nov 24th, 2008
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Hi all,I have not done much in the world of SAN switches, we have some brocades on site here, when I manage them, they are different models but seem to be in the same fabric, how is this normally configured? do they automatically join themselves?


also I added a new piece of equipment to the San, it seems though the world wide name added itself automatically, is this normal ?

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inch Mon, 11/24/2008 - 13:22
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G'day,


Generally people would configure their switches in two separate fabrics or virtual fabrics to provide some level of redundancy.


Switches can automatically join fabrics by themselves but generally you would not want this to be happening as to prevent potential outages.


When a devices is plugged into a storage network its WWN will come up within the fabric (much like a MAC address in a LAN) but it does not necessarily mean it will have access to any disk/tape.

It would probably be best for you to sit down with a good book.


The Cisco Fibre channel one by James Long or one by Tom Clarke.


Cheers


stephen2615 Mon, 11/24/2008 - 13:30
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Hi Carl,


Not much of a Cisco question but..


SAN 101 basically means that when you have a single switch, it is its own Fabric with a DomainID (unique identifier for the switch) and it will be the principal switch. When you join another switch to that existing switch with an Inter Switch Link (ISL), it joins that fabric. The new switch will have its own DomainID. Brocades don't seem to care too much about which switch is the principal switch. Joining Brocades is easy as all you do is decide on the port to use on both switches and make it an E Port and plug in the cable. You can make trunking ISL's but it needs a licence and a really dumb concept that the trunking ISL ports have to share a port group.


Each switch has its own World Wide Name that is set during manufacture.


Generally you need to have two Fabrics to allow for redundancy. So having all switches in one fabric in a Brocade environment is not good practice.


Adding Cisco MDS switches to Brocade fabrics needs special consideration.


Generally, get yourself some training and it will become very clear.


Brocade has a very nice tool to help you.


http://www.brocade.com/sites/dotcom/services-support/drivers-downloads/san-health-diagnostics/download_san_health.page


I highly recommend you use it to understand how your Fabric(s) could be configured. It is a very good housekeeping tool.


Stephen

inch Mon, 11/24/2008 - 13:37
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morning :)

carl_townshend Mon, 11/24/2008 - 15:18
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hi there, thanks for your help


so, do you assign wwn to certain ports? how can devices that are plugged into my switch see each other, do you just allow that wwn on all the ports that it needs to communicate, or just the one its plugged in to ?

also how do I know my brocade switches are in 2 seperate fabrics ?

stephen2615 Mon, 11/24/2008 - 17:12
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Carl,


I strongly recommend you get a book or organise training on this as it will take time to explain this even in simple terms. Too many people make too many mistakes because they don't understand what they are doing.


Complex SANs are not for the faint hearted and you don't want to be the cause of a major outage because you did something I told you to do on some forum somewhere. Contact your Brocade vendor/reseller for assistance.


There is a Brocade site that has a forum so you could register there and they may assist you. You can get some decent documentation and even online SAN 101 training for free.


Stephen

stephen2615 Mon, 11/24/2008 - 16:43
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Andrew,


I tried to email you and it bounced.. Has something changed?


Stephen

inch Mon, 11/24/2008 - 17:25
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G'day,


Yeah - checkout my profile... :)


Cheers


Andrew

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