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Virtual Connect FlexFabric to Brocade switches

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Virtual Connect FlexFabric to Brocade switches

Ed has Fibre Channel connectivity question:




A storage Solution Architect I work with is asking me why our FlexFabric modules cannot connect directly to a Brocade San switch.  He is telling me that we require a separate FC pass thru module to connect.


I thought he was mistaken, our QS says it works, but the SWD tool "Spock" indicates it is not supported, and HP support told the customer that it is not supported, and they need to purchase a FC-pass thru and mezz cards.


It is a new version Brocade SAN switch, I can get details to follow, but need some solid guidance..




The discussion




From Terri:

The VC FlexFabric connects directly to support SAN switches from the X1, X2, X3 and X4 FC ports. When cabled & configured this way it is using FCoE from the blade server CNA card to the internal FlexFabric. From the FlexFabric X1-X4 uplinks to the SAN switch, it is simple FC SAN connection (like a FC Pass-thru to a SAN switch).


I've assisted customers in setting this up and its also pretty well documented. Let me know if you have any further questions.



From Dan:

Was the Brocade upstream the one where you sometimes had to change the Fill Word setting for it to work at 8Gb?


From Terri:

I believe the original Brocade issue (need to change fill word to 3) was identified by HP as being specific to Virtual Connect. However, this is an issue with any 8GB Brocade switch connecting to (or attempting to connect to) an  8GB device. The problem was introduced with Brocade 6.3.1 and still exists with FOS 7.x.



Problem introduced with FOS 6.3.1 & 6.4.x.

Not applicable to non-8GB ports. Command will disable & re-enable port, port comes online with the new fill word setting.

Config is stored in nonvolatile memory, its persistent across switch reboots & power cycles.


portcfgfillword 5, 3      (sets port 5 to fill word =3).


switch:admin> portcfgshow 5  (example shows port 5 as set for default fill word = 0)

Area Number: 34

Speed Level: AUTO(HW)

Fill Word: 0(Idle-Idle)


switch:admin> portcfgshow    (to see fill word setting for all ports)




portCfgFillWord <PortNumber> <Mode>



        * 0/-idle-idle - IDLE in Link Init, IDLE as fill word (default)


        * 1/-arbff-arbff - ARBFF in Link Init, ARBFF as fill word


        * 2/-idle-arbff - IDLE in Link Init, ARBFF as fill word (SW)


3/-aa-then-ia - If ARBFF/ARBFF failed, then do IDLE/ARBFF


Hope this helps.




Any additonal input or questions?