03-04-2014 01:11 PM
Hi there, is anyone with the new Condor3 ASICs using mirror ports to view traffic between devices in the fabric? What software would you use to parse the data from that port? Also, as a side note, how would this compare to a tap and something like VirtualWisdom from Virtual Instruments?
03-07-2014 12:19 PM
You'd need to connect an FC analyzer to the M_Port to start with. If you've got one lying around ... you won't need to worry about how to parse the data. There's no means of attaching a host with an HBA in "promiscuous mode" and running Wireshark or the like as you would on an Ethernet switch port.
The Finisar Xgig is typically the drug of choice and it comes with TraceControl which allows you to set triggers (e.g. when to save the buffer) and lots of other options (e.g. whether you only want to capture the frame header or payload too etc.). Another tool which is included is the TraceView which is the industry standard for reading FC traces.
Now, go and check how much those FC analyzers cost
03-07-2014 12:57 PM
That doesn't make sense- you can use the setup you just described without a mirror port- in fact, using a mirror port will hide a bunch of potential problems on the physical layer. Normally when you get a Finisar tracer, you put it between the switch port and the connected device...
03-12-2014 02:50 PM
Yes I agree, but there's no other use for the M_Port and that was the question.
Obviously the one big difference it makes is that you're not introducing a device on the path you're capturing for and hence don't need to disrupt it either. Another advantage is that you can capture N_Port to N_Port which can be tricky to do with the tracer, i.e. worst case scenario you may need two tracers (and reading those traces will be inherently painful afterwards).
With that being said, I've never seen anyone use this mirror port feature in real life either. When we used to do FC traces, the Xgig was always inserted on the path.