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New Contributor
martin.kirsch
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-08-2012

howto uplink switches keeping fabrics seperated

hi guys,

i am stuck in a problem bringing up an isl

here is the scenario:

we have an existing hp c-class bladecenter with 2 brocade 4/12 fc interconnects. by historical reasons the 2 switches work as seperated fabrics. they connect esx-servers running on blades to storage connected by the external links. both switches run in switch-mode (not access gateway) and hold their own zoneconfig.

as our environment is growing we decided to buy some new standalone-servers and 2 brocade 300 san switches.

now i want to connect the new switches to these in the bladecenter to make the storage visible to the new servers.

i want to avoid a merge of the fabrics as it is extremely difficult to schedule downtime for the whole system. following the advice of a buddy, i thought it would be a good idea to disable "e-port" on the isl-ports of the switches to avoid auto-fabridmerge and then to configure zones containing the appropriate server/storage- and isl-ports.

well, it turns out, that plan does not work, the islports show up as g-ports now and no connectivity comes up.

i have been searching the internet for ages and found tons of documents about merging fabrics, but nothing that would help me out.

i would appreciate any help about how to connect switches and configure cross-switch-zoning the right way without beeing forced to do a fabric-merge or how to merge zones without interruption of connectivity (i read that merging always brings down connectivity for a few seconds while recreating the zone-db)

thanks for your time and help in advance

regards

martin

Valued Contributor
TechHelp24
Posts: 3,634
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: howto uplink switches keeping fabrics seperated

If you want to "uplink" BTW, correct definition is ISL = Inter Switch Link, and don't want to merge the Fabric, such is possible only with IR = Intergrated Routing or FCR = Fibre Channel Routing Capable Swithes.

Brocade 300 is not IR capable.

TechHelp24
New Contributor
martin.kirsch
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-08-2012

Re: howto uplink switches keeping fabrics seperated

thnaks for your reply.

well, not good... what would be the right way, to bring that stuff to work? is there any chance to avoid merging?

i also thought about creating 2 fabrics, each consisting of one bladesw and one standalone-sw. but then i am concerned of loosing the cfg, because the bladeswitches hold a big zone-db, but the older firmware (on these models the latest supported sw is 6.2.2.f, the newer standalonswitches are on 7.0.0.c). i read the switch with the newer firmware should be selected as principal.

i read so many docs about zonemerging the last days that i really feel confused about all that stuff...

Valued Contributor
TechHelp24
Posts: 3,634
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: howto uplink switches keeping fabrics seperated

--->>> is there any chance to avoid merging?

no sorry, any such is unkown to me. However, depend you Budget, a Used Brocade 7500 would be a great option.

ebay.com

--->>>  i read the switch with the newer firmware should be selected as principal.

"should be" but must not, is another story.

I have some situation by diverse Customer, and the config is mantained by old Switch.

TechHelp24
Valued Contributor
TechHelp24
Posts: 3,634
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: howto uplink switches keeping fabrics seperated

martin,

from you initial post

--->>>i would appreciate .../.....or how to merge zones without interruption of connectivity

Q 1:

what is the reason you want to ISL both Brocade 300 ?

config merge is very simple, and no disruptive.

Q 2:

the Bladecenter should be continued to have access to the Storage ?

--->>>we decided to buy some new standalone-servers

you can figure out NEW separate Zone in Brocade 300 for all those new Server, and present from the same Storage a own ( not shared ) LUN.


TechHelp24
New Contributor
christoph.reeg
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-22-2012

Re: howto uplink switches keeping fabrics seperated

Hello Martin,

> i also thought about creating 2 fabrics, each consisting of one bladesw and one standalone-sw.

that's the way I would do it.

> but then i am concerned of loosing the cfg, because the bladeswitches hold a big zone-db, but the older firmware

You can only merge a switch with an empty (or same) zone-db into a fabric. The switch will then get the zone-db from the fabric, independent of the firmware version.

But you should have a look if the two versions are compatible.

HTH,

Christoph

New Contributor
martin.kirsch
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-08-2012

Re: howto uplink switches keeping fabrics seperated

hi,

thanks for your replies.

presenting seperated luns to tghe new servers is not possible, as it is an esxcluster and all servers need access to the same luns.

i read, that merging IS disruptive, as the zonedb is brought down and up. if this is not true, that would be a great help. can you confirm, that merging an empty switch to a switch with a config will niot interrupt hostaccess for e few seconds?

anyway, i think the idea with 2 fabitcs seems the best way. i can take one bladeswitch offline (disable hostports, as multipathing is correctly configured on the hosts), do a merge with one standalone-brocade, check everything and then enable the ports again. then doing the same with the other switches. (firmware releases are checked according to hp guidlines)

just wondering, if i will then ever find time and way to merge them all together to one fabric...

btw, another question: why are those blade-interconnects not delivered with an internal isl?? is there any way to merge them except connecting them by a cable through the external ports?

Occasional Contributor
booth
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎10-25-2012

Re: howto uplink switches keeping fabrics seperated

FYI, the 300 is actually routing capable, but you must purchase a Integrated Routing license for the switch.

Valued Contributor
TechHelp24
Posts: 3,634
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: howto uplink switches keeping fabrics seperated

I've just reviewed UDP-108 Brocade Course.

Integrated Routing License for Brocade 300 is not Supported.

TechHelp24
Occasional Contributor
booth
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎10-25-2012

Re: howto uplink switches keeping fabrics seperated

Yes, I'm sorry, you are correct.  I went back and read the FAQ and they do not in fact mention the 300 when talking about IRL.  My sales person/engineer lead me to believe that the new switches all had the routing capability.  Thank you for correcting me.  IRL will work on the 5100 on up.

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