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Fibre Channel (SAN)

New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-27-2010

Connecting multiple Brocade 300 Series switches


I currently have a very basic fibre infrastructure consisting of:

  • 2 independant 300 switches (SW1, SW2)
  • 1 Storage device, dual controller, giving total 4 ports
  • 4 Servers, each with dual HBA's
  • Each sevrer and SAN controller ports plug into each of the SAN switches. No connections between SAN switches.

I will be adding another SAN and SAN Switch (SW3) with a few servers in another building, and need to connect them all together.

Do I simply connect

SW3-P0 --> SW1-P0

SW3-P1 --> SW2-P0

If I add another switch SW4 do I then connect

SW4-P0 --> SW1-P1

SW4-P1 --> SW2-P1

Do I ever connect SW1 and SW2 toghether, and same for SW3 and SW4?

If this a valid config? Does it require complex configuration?

Do I need ISL licneses or any toher licenses?

Thanks for help

Super Contributor
Posts: 260
Registered: ‎04-09-2008

Re: Connecting multiple Brocade 300 Series switches


To a build a set of redundant fabrics you will need to do this

SW3-P0 --> SW1-P0

SW3-P1 --> SW1-P1

And to expand both fabrics you will need yet another switch right away.

SW4-P0 --> SW2-P1

SW4-P1 --> SW2-P1

Creating an ISL between a new switch and an existing setup is normally very simple. The new switch must have no zoning configured and its flow control parameters and FOS versions must be compatible to the existing switch.

You will need a Fabric license (check if already installed) and in all probability an extended fabrics license since you connecting across a longer distance.

If you want to club together 2 ISL links then you need trunking licenses.

Hope this helps.

Super Contributor
Posts: 425
Registered: ‎03-03-2010

Re: Connecting multiple Brocade 300 Series switches


First you decide which topology you want. With your description it is a mesh topology, which is the good. But the best is if you will make the same with reduntant one.


you can make it like this. make SW1 into Fab-1, make SW2 to Fab-2. This is redundant. If you have a server with 2 HBA, connect HBA 1 to SW1, Connect HBA2 to have redundant path.

When you are adding 2 more SWs to these 2 Fabrics, pls connect SW3 to SW1 and SW4 to SW2, like thi sall other SWs to be added will be added like: SW5 will be connected to SW1 and SW6 will be connected to SW2

So SW1 will be your Core SW of Fab-1 and all other SWs will be your edge SWs and the same in case of SW2

Brocade 300 is 8 Gbps SW. There is a portgroup funda.Inorder to connect the other SWs to Core SW, you need Fabric Licenses in both the SWs. And for ISL/trunk you need trunking license in both the SWs.

Inorder to connect SW1 and 2 your topology will be meshy but not a redundant fabric.

Pls find attach the doc for more understanding

If you find it correct pls correct the thread.

If you have more questions you put it here. I will try to answer the SAn design related things

New Contributor
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-27-2010

Re: Connecting multiple Brocade 300 Series switches

Thank you both for the reply.

Sorry, for the delay, been away on some urgent stuff.

The scenario of creating two fabrics seems to make more sense, and if I am guessing correct, would have less impact with changes as opposed to a full meshed, single fabric, with less likelyhood for outages due to topology changes, is that correct?

With regards to the licenses, if I have two fabrics, with two switches in each fabric, do I need 4 fabric licenses?

If I have a SINGLE connection between each of these switches, do I need the trunk/ISL licenses, cause they seem to be expensive?

The 2 new switches I am planning to use are for a DR room, so if I don;t need the ISL/trunking licenses, I would be happy

Thanks for your help so far

Super Contributor
Posts: 425
Registered: ‎03-03-2010

Re: Connecting multiple Brocade 300 Series switches

It is always better to have redundant Fabrics.

If you have full Fabric license , you do not need trunking license, ISL will be formed, but pls connect 2/3 individual  ISLs atelast for redundancy and take a port group for teh connectivity.  It is always recommended to have full fabric license as it will help you in growing. If 4 domain license then total 4 SWs will be in the Fabric.

If you finds this correct pls make the thread correct

Occasional Visitor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎09-26-2014

Re: Connecting multiple Brocade 300 Series switches


I have the almost same situation:

There are two IBM SAN24B-4 Express, (Brodace 300), names: sw1, sw2. We need more ports so we will get 2 more switches probably IBM SAN24B-4 or SAN40B-4. (sw3, sw4).

-What would be the best topolgy, the full mesh?

I understand, that every swich need full fabric license because of the E_port. (ISL). 

-How can I configure zones over switches? Until now that was easy, the Borcade 300 recodnized the Storage ports, and the server port automatically. But how it works over more switches? Thank You.



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