Brocade SilkWorm 3800 ISL setup

Posted on 2004-10-08
Last Modified: 2010-08-05
We have two Brocade switches and would like to put an ISL (not trunked) between them to for management purposes.  The zones will be setup such that no data will be passed across this ISL...  The reason for the unified fabric is that two blade enclosures with integrated Brocade switches are going to be added into the SAN.  It is easier to manage one six switch fabric than two three switch fabrics...

When I connect the switches now, I get an amber light on one side (no_sync) and nothing on the other (no_light).  Is there any special configuration needed to get the ISL up? Do I need a special cable?  Are there special licensing requirements to active an ISL?  These are actually an EMC DS-16B2 switches.  It was my undertstanding that a "Full Fabric" license was only needed for multiple ISL's per switch...

Question by:RyanB
  • 2

Assisted Solution

411monk earned 250 total points
ID: 12263986
What you are running into is segmentation is fabric segmentation.  It seems as if these are existing switches with configurations on them.  In order to merge the 2 switches into 1 fabric, zoning, DID, and fabric parameters must no conflict.  More then likely this is a zoning configuration segmentation.

I wouldn't overlook the neccessity for dual fabrics.  It adds a level of resiliency SAN access in the event of a fabric errors and maintenance.

Author Comment

ID: 12266209
There is no zoning config on either switch, so I'm pretty sure that's not it.  I manually changed the domain ID of "switch2" to "2".  Should I have left it alone and let the switches sort out the domain ID's?  I just verified the Fabric paramaters on each switch, and they match.

BB Credit: 16
R_A_TOV: 10000
E_D_TOV: 2000
Datafield Size: 2112
Core Switch PID Format: checked

As for leaving separate fabrics, that debate is still taking place.  One consultatant is saying single, another is saying dual.  It seems that the industry is treding towards a single fabric, core/edge infrastructure...  Right now I'm just trying to get it setup as a single fabric so we can do some testing.  In the end, it might be dual, but without testing it makes it harder to make an informed (semi) decision.

Thank you!
LVL 30

Accepted Solution

Duncan Meyers earned 250 total points
ID: 12274026

For ISL to work, the new switch must have no configuration on it. Go into the CLI, type SwitchDisable then ConfigDefault. Make sure you have a backup of the config before you do this!

Domain ID for each switch must be different. Although the domain ID should be automatically assigned by the fabric, (switch OS), IIRC, earlier firmware revisions required this parameter to be set manually.

Also firmware revisions have to be the same across the fabric. So, if you're running v3.1.2a on the existing switches and the new switch is at a newer firmware rev, you'll need to either upgrade the existing switche or downgrade the new one.  Make sure that you get the EMC approved firmware. You should be able to download the software using your Powerlink account.

Also, don't forget in Fibre Channel that there is a maximum of 3 hops! You may be going a hop too far when you connect the blades.

Finally, I must agree with 411monk. Two fabrics of 3 switches gives far better redundancy that one fabric of six. I'd suggest that you're far better having to manage the two fabrics and have those additional paths that two fabrics provides. You're SAN will love you for it.

Author Comment

ID: 12277229
Ended up being a *two* bad fiber patches.  I had replaced the fiber early on, but the replacement was also bad!

Well, since I want my SAN to love me, I'm going to split it into two fabrics as you both have recommended.  

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