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Fibre Channel (SAN)

Posts: 0

SAN architecturing help using DCX8510-8 (as opposed to switches)


We recently got two DCX8510-8 backbones and need help in our SAN topology architecture to utilize them effectively as we apparently paid more for backbones instead of less for a few smaller individual switches.

What kinds of things should we do differently with backbones than switches from the zoning architecture perspective?

We've half-populated each backbone with 8Gbps GBICs on these backbones.

The number of ports available in these backbones are more than enough for the number of servers/storage we have in our environment for a while, and we don't plan to connect any other switches/directors to these backbones for next few years, even considering growth of our environment.

From my previous environment, I connected several small- and mid-sized switches together via ISLs to form the full-mesh single fabric topology (that is, only one SAN island), and it worked out very well for the size and purpose of my previous environment for the past few years.

As I just joined this new environment, we've just got those two backbones instead, and I'd like to know if we should do something different in terms of zoning. One example would be if we utilize the new feature Virtual Fabrics or not.

Right now, we plan to

- Not connect these 2 backbones using ISL/ICL,

- Create a single fabric on each backbone,

- Each time we add a new server/storage with dual paths, we create exactly the same zones on each of these backbones

- so that if we make a human error/mistake when creating zones in one backbone (e.g., bringing down the whole fabric), the other backbone stays up and serves the data, etc.

I know it's a manual HA strategy that may or may not be used elsewhere but this is the manual HA architecture that my new environment has been using with older director models that we're going to migrate and replace to these new DCX8510-8.

I'd like to hear advices from savvy folks out there for now.

Thank you in advance!

- Young

Valued Contributor
Posts: 559
Registered: ‎03-20-2011

Re: SAN architecturing help using DCX8510-8 (as opposed to switches)

hi, your current plan looks good. i don't think i can add anyting. good luck!

Former Brocadian
Posts: 445
Registered: ‎04-08-2009

Re: SAN architecturing help using DCX8510-8 (as opposed to switches), in addition, I've attached the "Secure SAN Zoning Best Practice Guide".  Its a high-level guide to zoning, but i refer to it for mental refreshers from time to time.  Hope it helps.


Mike Eversole
Brocade Community Manager

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