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Fibre Channel (SAN)

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎09-30-2010

ISL or not? A place with only 2 SANswitches


I happen to visit several data centers with two different scenarios:

  • 2 Sans witches
  • 1 storage with dual controllers and dual FC connections each one.
  • several servers with dual FC connections.

I've seen that some of them have an ISL and some not. One fabric with two ISL´d switches or two separated fabrics.

If they ask me I'd prefer to have them separated. In that way we have a real redundant configuration even though I have to work twice when making any kind of change. But, for example, updating firmware would be an ease task to do since the other fabric would n´t be affected by the process.

On the other hand, if anything happens to the fabric zoning database having two fabrics it would make a complete mess.

My question is... Is it better to merge those 2 fabrics or not? Perhaps any of you guys cant tell which way is the best or why.


Frequent Contributor
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎05-26-2009

Re: ISL or not? A place with only 2 SANswitches

Keep two fabrics. Either do Zoning via BNA or just have a cron job on your management pc gathering a configupload each night.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 761
Registered: ‎06-11-2010

Re: ISL or not? A place with only 2 SANswitches


I completely agree with . As The Offspring song says: Keep'em separated.

It is recommendable to have two isolated fabrics.


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