interop mode 1

Unanswered Question
Feb 23rd, 2009


I have a request to combine a Brocade fabric with a Cisco fabric and I was just wondering what the consequences of this would be. The Cisco fabric is basically just one VSAN and it has storage, hosts and most importantly a large VTL system and an aging tape solution. The Brocade fabric has tape drives. Our backup people are extremely eager to use the backup drives and want me to do something about it.

I am trying to defer this until I can get all the backup solutions onto a single Cisco fabric but that takes time.

What would happen to the Cisco VSAN if I was forced to change it to interop mode 1? Does anything happen? Do I lose functionality and if so, what?

I don't have an Enterprise licence on the switches (yet) so I can't do IVR and the Cisco fabric uses a mixture of strange serverless backups which means I can't seperate the backups from the data.


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Overall Rating: 3 (1 ratings)
Michael Brown Mon, 02/23/2009 - 03:24


If you make the change on the MDS to place the current VSAN into inerop mode 1, the domain ID will change to be in the 97 to 127 range. This means that all the devices logged into the MDS will log out and log back in. These devices will see a change in their assigned FCID. If you have HP-UX and/or older AIX operating systems this might cause them to require a re-scan of the FC network to locate their assigned storage devices. Window and Linux usually do not have this issue.

Zoning would need to be by PWWN only, no device-alias.

Check here for the support matrix of code levels.

and here for configuration instructions.

Hope this helps,


stephen2615 Mon, 02/23/2009 - 13:46

Hi Mike,

For once the support matrix is in my favour. Nothing is suitable which is very sad indeed.

Considering the size of both fabrics, reading the different interop modes makes this get towards the too messy stage.



Michael Brown Mon, 02/23/2009 - 14:16

What you may want to consider doing is a test.

Create a test VSAN on the MDS, and put it into interop mode 1.

Place an unused port into the test VSAN, and attach it to the Brocade (which is in interop mode). See if the ISL comes up. If you have any spare devices to play with ...plug them into the Brocade or MDS and use the 'show fncs database vsan xxx' on the MDS, or the 'nsallshow' on teh Brocade to see if the devices propagate across the ISL. You could also create some dummy zoning info and see if it gets passed correctly. Just be sure to clean it all out of the Brocade before migrating to production. When you delete the test VSAN on the MDS, all the dummy zoning will be deleted along with the test VSAN.

I do agree, interop can get to me a messy solution.

Hope this helps,


stephen2615 Wed, 02/25/2009 - 00:51

Hi Mick,

I like your idea of a test but alas ISL's are not available due to the fabrics being seperated by some distance and I have none free. I am on the case for some more ISL's but that also takes time.

I told our backup people to go and buy some 9222i's if they need the links urgently as we don't have any native fibre. It was almost a mastercard priceless look..


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