Fibre Channel Components
Fibre Channel Fabric Switches
Brocade Silkworm 3200 Cisco MDS 9120
Brocade Silkworm 3800
Cisco MDS 9140 McData Spereon 4500
Brocade Silkworm 3900 Cisco MDS 9216 McData Spereon 3232
• Multiple devices can communicate simultaneously—
bandwidth is scalable
• Switches create a topology called a switched fabric:
– More expensive than hubs
– Highly scalable infrastructure
– Provides enhanced management functions
• Almost all new SAN devices sold today are switches
Fibre Channel switches:
Fibre Channel switches are roughly analogous to Ethernet switches.
They contain a switching matrix that can establish multiple concurrent
routing paths to allow simultaneous communication between multiple
sets of devices. Adding devices to a switch effectively adds bandwidth to
All ports connected to a switch can operate at full speed. Switches have
sufficient aggregate bandwidth to handle full speed, full duplex operation
on every connected port.
Switches are more expensive than hubs, but they provide significantly
better performance and enable a highly scalable SAN infrastructure.
In addition, a switched fabric topology provides for enhanced
Typically a frame switch architecture. We can have multiple, concurrent
conversations going on all at full bandwidth. Now each node talks to its
switch port. We now have a highly scalable infrastructure.