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New Member

A newbie question on ISL with Brocade switches

Hi,

We currently have several Brocade switches in one fabric.

Is it possible to add a new Cisco MDS switch into an existing Brocade fabric?

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks!

- Young

7 REPLIES
New Member

Re: A newbie question on ISL with Brocade switches

I googled and found the following method as the most reasonable approach that I want to take to merge Cisco and Brocade switches together in one fabric.

Interop mode 3 - interoperability mode 3 was introduced for Brocade  switches that contained more than 16 ports. With this VSAN-based interop  mode, Brocade switches do not have to be altered from their native mode  (core pid = 1) and can be easily added to a new or existing VSAN. This mode is also known as legacy switch interop mode 3. Available starting in Cisco MDS 9000 SAN-OS 1.3(1)

It sounds like my Brocade switches will be part of a Cisco VSAN rather than vice versa

Does it imply that I should first convert all of my Brocade FOS zone configuration into the Cisco language (zoning format) and add them in the Cisco switch so that the merged fabric sees zones properly from both types of switches?

If so, I assume this merging task will require a service down time of my existing Brocade fabric.

Could anyone who's done this share your experience?

Thanks!

- Young

Cisco Employee

Re: A newbie question on ISL with Brocade switches

Hi Yong,

The Cisco switch in interop mode 3 should accept the Brocade zoning.

Another option is to put the Cisco switch in NPV mode so that Zoning stays on the Brocade.

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/switches/datacenter/mds9000/sw/4_1/configuration/guides/cli_4_1/npv.html

Regards,

David

New Member

Re: A newbie question on ISL with Brocade switches

Hi David,

Thanks for your reply! I read that page about NPV.

Which approach do you think is simpler and cleaner between the interop mode3 and NPV methods?

Also, is the interop mode3 ISL pretty easy and seamless to implement?

Thanks.

- Young

Cisco Employee

Re: A newbie question on ISL with Brocade switches

Hi Young,

I like NPV mode the best for interop.  This presumes the Cisco NPV switch only has hosts attached to it.

All the zoning stays with the Brocade, so you won't have to worry about zone merges and zoneset activations.

Interop mode 3 ISL is pretty easy, but you will still need zone merges whenever the ISL flapps and zoneset activations.

Regards,

David.

New Member

Re: A newbie question on ISL with Brocade switches

Hi David,

As for the interop mode 3 approach, I have a further question for clarification.

Let's say, I have a bunch of zones configured and effective in my Brocade fabric.

On the Cisco switch side, I have a few servers connected but let's say I clear my zones/zoneset as a preparation to merge. And I change 2 things:

1. to set the domain ID to make it unique (it'll be a higher DID than any existing Brocade switch DIDs since all my Brocade DIDs already started with 1, 2, 3, etc.)

2. to change the interop mode to 3.

Then if I connect a FC cable between this Cisco switch and one of the Brocade switches for ISL, would this Cisco switch get all the zone configuration from the Brocade fabric as if I added a new Brocade switch into the existing fabric? Is it that seamless?

Thanks for your help!

- Young

Cisco Employee

Re: A newbie question on ISL with Brocade switches


Hi Young,

Yes, That's the intent.

Cisco MDS 9000 Family Switch-to-Switch Interoperability Configuration Guide
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/switches/datacenter/mds9000/interoperability/guide/interopgd.html

Interop matrix.
http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/switches/datacenter/mds9000/interoperability/matrix/Matrix5.html

Regards,
David

New Member

Re: A newbie question on ISL with Brocade switches

Hi David,

Reading the article you pointed to, when we merge Cisco and Brocade switches via the interop mode 3 ISL, all zoning operations should be done on the Cisco MDS switch side using the NX-OS commands.

Looks like there's no way to configure zoning with the Brocade FOS methods.

Thanks for your help!

- Young

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