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HP VC 8Gb 24-Port FC won't link to new SAN switches

Occasional Advisor

HP VC 8Gb 24-Port FC won't link to new SAN switches

I am trying to connect our new SAN environment to these virtual connects, but I get no link.


Ports 1&2 on each of these VC's was connected to our old SAN environment. I pulled the connection on port 2, and plugged in the fiber for our new SAN, I get no link and the light above the port starts flashing Orange. I pulled the SFP module out of port 2 and put it in Port 3, plug in the fiber from the old SAN, it links up fine, plug in the fiber from the new SAN, it starts flashing orange again. I also noticed that after I plug in the fiber from the new SAN, the VC Module seems to disable that port. The SFP no longer emits any red light. I plug back in the old fiber, and it never comes back up.


The old SAN switches are MDS 9222's, the new ones are MDS 9506's. The port settings are identical between the switches. The firmware revision on these Virtual Connects is 1.04 v6.1.0_55, which I believe is rather old, but unfortunately these are running in a hospital and I am not able to update them at this time.


Any thoughts? 


Thank you 

Occasional Advisor

Re: HP VC 8Gb 24-Port FC won't link to new SAN switches

I have been on the phone with HP support, and they tell me that I am not able to have a Fibre Channel Virtual Connect module connected to two different SAN fabrics at the same time, and that's why it is shutting down the ports when I plug it into my new SAN switches.


Can anyone confirm this for me? Sounds like a serious design flaw.

Michael Leu
Honored Contributor

Re: HP VC 8Gb 24-Port FC won't link to new SAN switches

I haven't tested this personally but this limitations seems like a reasonable safeguard IMHO.

VC somehow has to know that if one uplink port in a VC SAN fabric fails then it will still work on the remaining port.


As a workaround you could perhaps create a new VC SAN fabric with Port 3+4 to the new SAN switch and then change each server profile to the new VC SAN fabric.

Trusted Contributor

Re: HP VC 8Gb 24-Port FC won't link to new SAN switches

You can most certainly have 2 different SAN Fabrics from a single VC FC module, but you do have to actually configure it that way.

you can't just rip out the cable from SAN_A_OLD and slap in the cable from SAN_A_NEW and expect VC not to complain that the Fabrics don't match.  Thats a SAN Fabric thing, not really VC specific.  This isn't ethernet where the switch doesn't really matter as long as you have the same VLAN.


If you configure SAN_A in VC with Bay3 Ports 1 and 2, both those ports need to be connected to the SAME upstream SAN Fabric and Switch.


If you want to move one of those ports to SAN_A_NEW, then you need to first remove it from SAN_A (this will move all the server connections to the remaining port) and then configure a new SAN Fabric entry in VC called SAN_A_NEW and add that port back in.  Then you go into whatever Server Profiles you need on the new SAN and change them from A to A_NEW.


Remember VC uses NPIV and is merely an FC port aggregator and not a proper FC Domain member in the Fabric.