IVR and interop mode.

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Dec 20th, 2008
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I was wondering if IVR and interop modes are ok. I have been asked to allow devices in Brocade Fabrics and Cisco fabrics to see each other (primarily backups) and it will involve IVR if thats achievable.

Basically a setup of tape units (physical and VTL) at one Cisco site will need to be seen at the Brocade site. The tapes also need to be seen by VSANs at the Cisco site due to serverless backups.

It sounds like a plan but I have not been able to find if its achievable.


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inch Sat, 12/20/2008 - 20:21
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Got a test environment? :)

i might be able to sneak a brocade into the office during the week and have a tinker over the break...

stephen2615 Sat, 12/20/2008 - 23:06
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A test what? I wish..

I take the word of our fabulous vendors... Cisco NPV and Brocade NPIV (core) was a leap of faith as I don't have (or want) any spare Brocade switches.


inch Sun, 12/21/2008 - 15:04
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We managed to get a small test environment but it is called a "Solution Integration Facility" rather than dev/test.

I don't have any newish brocade's to test npiv etc but I can test a mds in introp doing ivr to the brocade - I can't see why it wouldnt work tho :)

I'll let you know if I can smuggle the switch in!

Michael Brown Mon, 12/22/2008 - 13:48
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Interop and IVR should work...the question becomes whether the Fab OS version you have on the Brocade is supported for Interop mode 2 or 3. If they are in Open Fabric Mode, or what Cisco calls interop mode 1 I see no problems with an IVR integration. If they are running one of the newer Fab Os versions, you may run into interop issues. Here is the MDS interop guide from CCO, it has a section on Interop with IVR.


Here is the firmware matrix used for the Interop testing.


I hope that between these 2 documents you can locate your specific firmware and models, and determine if it was tested.

Also, just because a specific firmware is not mentioned there, does not mean that it will not work. Just means it was not tested. It's almost impossible to test each possible combination.

Hope this helps,


stephen2615 Mon, 12/22/2008 - 14:08
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Hi Mike,

This gets complicated. We are running Brocade 48000 Directors and FAB OS 5.2.1b. HDS (our vendor) only supports Interop mode 1 and to be honest Brocade don't like it at all. The interop guide doesn't have recent switches. Eg, the 3800 was EOL'ed years ago and none of the FAB OS versions it used are available any more.

I think Cisco could do better and much more recent testing. Basically, its often easier to remain with Brocade than to worry over interop modes.

I can't really make an informed decision on that.

inch Tue, 12/23/2008 - 20:33
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Hey Stephen,

Didn't manage to get the switch into the office today :-( ...

Merry xmas!

Michael Brown Wed, 12/24/2008 - 07:12
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Interop mode 1 'should' work and 'should' be supported by all vendors since it is based on the T11 standards. I believe that Cisco will stand behind support of Interop mode 1 with any vendor, and any recetn code. I understand if other vendors do not, or will not, support our Interop mode 2 and 3 features. I also understand that sometimes it is easier to not deal with interop, especially when support is questionable from all the vendors involved.

I think the SAN market has ruled and it has become unprofitable for Cisco to maintain and test all possible code iterations for interop mode 2 and 3 when no one beside Cisco will support it, and the other vendors can make it no longer work after each upgrade to their firmware.

Afraid this not much of a solution for you, but hopefully explains how we got where we are.




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