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Fibre Channel (SAN)

Posts: 0

Switch Management Best Practice


I have a A/B CE fabric SAN with 18 switches ranging from 3850's, 4100's, 5000's, and now 5100 series switches, and hardly any two have the same level of firmware. I'm looking for best practice or guidance on maintaining firmware levels within the fabrics. For starters, I have these quesions:

1)     Should all switches in the fabric be running the same Fabric OS version?

2)     Is it acceptable that some older switches like the 3850 have older firmware when in the same fabric as a newly deployed 5100 for example?

3)     Is performing a switch firmware upgrade non-distruptive, or does one need to take an outage on that fabric?

4)     At what point should one start looking at the next step, that being director class switches?

5)     Today, I manage the fabrics using WEB TOOLS. Would it be prudent to look at Fabric Manager? Is it worth it? Does it do that much more than WEB TOOLS?

Thanks for your time. I appreciate any feedback you can provide.


External Moderator
Posts: 5,597
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: Switch Management Best Practice


to your question.

1, yes is suggested to run all the switch in the same fabric with a same FaOS release, however same FabOS Release are compatible and work fine.

2, 3850 support only FabOS max 5.3.2, but is full compatible with FabOS 6.0, 6.1 and 6.2

All FabOS 5 are End of Life

3, Fupgrade are non-distruptive.

4, depend at your environment, and if your panned for a Redundant fabric must have Min. 2 Director like 48000 or 2 DCX

5, Fabric Manager is End of Life, DCFM is the new Management Tools.


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