Fibre Channel (SAN)

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New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-30-2011

Difference between a Director and Backbone.

Hi All,


I am a very new to this Fabric Technology but has an idea of how FC works from VMware vSphere perspective. I want to deep dive into the Fabric Administration and want to learn more. I was reading couple of documents when preparing for BCFP Exam.

I am having a difficult time in understanding the difference between Director and Backbone. Where exaclty do we use these devices in Datacenter level. How do you integrate your Virtual Infrastructure with Directors and Backbones?

If i have an ESX 4.1 servers with dual port HBA connected i connect it to a Fabric Switch...Now, where and at what point do we go for these Directors.

Also, please share your valuable comments and material with respect to BCFP examination.

Thanks,
Pavan.

Contributor
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎08-13-2007

Re: Difference between a Director and Backbone.

There really is no difference betwen a director and a backbone, except for terminology.  A director is a switch with multiple control processor that can be failed over back and forth.  This eliminates them as a single point of failure in the switch design.  That is the characteristic, along with replacable blades, that distinguishes director class switches from edge or departmental class switches.

When someone refers to a backbone switch, they usually mean the switch at the center of their topology.  Most often this is where the storage is connected.

I've not taken the BCFP, but you do need to know a fair bit about the Brocade product lines to pass the BCFA, which I passed last fall.

External Moderator
Posts: 4,986
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: Difference between a Director and Backbone.

--->>> There really is no difference betwen a director and a backbone, except for terminology.

I think they're the only one with this opinion.

Bravo.

TechHelp24
New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-30-2011

Re: Difference between a Director and Backbone.

Hello Bravo & wruehl ,

Thank you for answering my question.

When both represents the same i don't understand why Brocade has to use different terminology . I guess we call it as Backbone when we integrate two Brocade directors across different datacenters. I am not sure.. correct me if i am wrong.

Pavan.

External Moderator
Posts: 4,986
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: Difference between a Director and Backbone.

Pavan,

--->>> When both represents the same i don't understand why Brocade has to use different terminology

apparently they have not undestood my preview answer.

--->>> I am not sure.. correct me if i am wrong.

they are wrong.

I've newer wrote both rapresent the same!!!

Both Plattforms Director and Backbone are not the same.

Both use in "some" case the same technology, but are not the same.

Backbone's, like the DCX Class Plattforms Family , are most powerfull as the Clasic Director' Plattforms technology.

TechHelp24
External Moderator
Posts: 4,986
Registered: ‎02-23-2004

Re: Difference between a Director and Backbone.

see this PDF, maybe help your to Compare some feature beetwen Director and Backbone.

http://www.supportedv.com/html/cms/files/Brocade%20-%208Gbit%20FC%20Product%20Update.pdf

TechHelp24
Regular Contributor
Posts: 201
Registered: ‎11-24-2009

Re: Difference between a Director and Backbone.

A Backbone in Brocade's terminology is a modular, multi-purpose, multi-protocol, ultra high-available device that resides in the core of the Unified Datacenter Fabric. This is a shift from a more traditional SAN Director term which means a modular, multi-protocol and ultra high-available device that forms the core of the Fibre Channel SAN.

SAN Director is mostly about Fibre Channel (plus some FCIP and iSCSI).

Backbone is about converged infrastructure (FC/FCoE/DCB) although it can do FCIP as well.

Note that most of the DCX Backbones nowadays are configured with FC blades, so these Backbones essentially function as SAN Directors. I believe this is the point of confusion. As FCoE technology evolves the difference between a Backbone and a SAN Director will be more apparent.

Hope this helps,

Linar

New Contributor
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎05-30-2011

Re: Difference between a Director and Backbone.

Hi Linar & Bravo,

Thank  you. I have got the difference now. :)

Pavan.

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