Can anyone please confirm this:
Connecting an FC Storage Array directly to the FC NAtive ports of the UCS or Nexus 5K (and not through an MDS or Brocade switch) is supported and requires FC-SW mode and not NPV mode:
For Nexus 5K: It can run in FC-SW mode or NPV mode (but not at the same time). In FC-SW mode, it’s like a full featured Cisco MDS FC switch, so we can connect the FC storage array directly to it, but with the limitation of having only one VSAN (as Inter VSAN Routing (IVR) is not supported)-
For UCS 6100: Now in case of UCS 6100 Fabric interconnect switch, we cannot directly connect the FC storage array to its native FC ports, it won't work at all, since the UCS 6100 only runs in NPV mode (no FC-SW mode supported, like the Nexus 5K), the FC port on the 6100 Fabric interconnect only supports connections to existing SAN (FC Switch) and not direct connections to a single FC Storage array.
In short - yes. The Nexus in FC Switch mode is very similar in features as an MDS. There will be some enhancements added in the next software/hardware releases that will expand on existing features such as F-Port trunking, mutli-hop FCoE etc. You might not go out and replace all your existing brocade/MDS devices in your datacenter, but you certainly can start with the N5K and expand as needed. Makes a great unit for a lab incorporating both FC and 10G switching in one devices.
UCS is a big host. The fabric interconnects are not switches, though you _could_ run them in Switch Mode, you really shouldn't.
You wouldn't connect an FC array to a fabric interconnect just like you wouldn't connect an FC array to a host. Lots of FC reasons for this regarding fabric logins, zoning etc.
Everyone is connecting the 6100 to MDS or Brocade.
I can confirm (from experience) that you cannot connect a storage array directly
to the 6100s - exactly for the reason you state in your question - the 6100 cannot act as an FC switch.
I have heard from our pre-sales engineer that you can use a N5k to do the FC switching, but haven't had a chance to try it yet.