Fibre Channel (SAN)

New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-04-2012

Merging separate fabrics

Hi all,

I've searched the forums for an answer, but the questions asked seem subtly different (or I've misunderstood something, equally possible) so I though I'd ask mine.

I have three SANs, all three of which consist of two fabrics, each fabric with their own zoning DB. Many (most) devices will have connectivity to both fabrics in the same SAN, but there are no devices that have connectivity on more than one SAN. In effect, we have:

SAN_A_Fabric_A     ¦     SAN_A_Fabric_B

SAN_B_Fabric_A     ¦     SAN_B_Fabric_B

SAN_C_Fabric_A     ¦     SAN_C_Fabric_B

So I have servers that connect to SAN_A_Fabric_A and SAN_A_Fabric_B, but I don't have anything that connects to SAN_A and SAN_B.

Due to a revisit of the design of some of the services that use these SANs (VMware, SQL clustering etc.), we've decided to merge the three SANs together, to create a larger dual-fabric SAN.

My query is therefore around the requirements for the zone merge process. I've read that the zone configuration needs to be identical for any devices on the fabrics, but does this mean that the aliases and zone pairs from Fabric_A on SAN_A and SAN_B and SAN_C would need to exist on all three zone DBs, or just that any devices that exist on one or more need to be configured with the same alias on each?

Also, is there a compatibility matrix that might show which switch hardware can co-exist in a fabric with each other - two of the SANs use HP-branded Brocades (including 4/24 c-class interconnects) and one uses EMC-branded Brocade (including a 300 "connectrix" switch) - would like to understand if there would be any issues linking them all up?

Thanks in advance.


External Moderator
Posts: 4,780
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: Merging separate fabrics


--->>>Also, is there a compatibility matrix that might show which switch hardware can co-exist in a fabric with each other....

About compatibility, you shold refer Compatibility Matrix or FOS Release Notes. I prefered to work with Release Notese, because here are listed all Switches and FOS Compatibility as well. If you have a doubt, post here Switch Type / Model and current FOS Release, I'll provide to give some info.

--->>> I have three SANs, all three of which consist of two fabrics,....

Here I'm a bit confused, thereby my question:

You wrote FABRIC_A and FABRIC_B, are all switch SAN A; B; and C; member from the same Fabric ?

What you want to Merge ?

Regular Contributor
Posts: 226
Registered: ‎01-08-2011

Re: Merging separate fabrics


you could find out what the OEM vendor's version corresponds to.

Then you can use that model number to look in the release notes if it's supported or not.

Brocade 4Gb SAN Switch for HP c-Class BladeSystem (Brocade 4024)

>> zoning

I think you understand it correctly.

You need to either have a blank zoning in a switch for it to join a fabric, or it can have the exact same as the fabric it's joining.

I presume that both zones and aliases all need to be identical - but I am not sure. At least the zones need to be identical.

>> what to merge?

Do you just want to merge SAN_A_Fabric_B, SAN_B_Fabric_B, SAN_C_Fabric_B into one fabric? And the same for Fabric_B?

There may be more things that you need to change on the switches/fabrics for a merge to work. See "configshow|grep fabric.ops" for some of them.

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