Poor Man's SAN Switch

Looking for a poor man's method of uniting 8 FC connections into some sort of fabric.  I'm talking pooooor.  Ebay preferably, unless there is a brand new solution for under 300$.  I have 4 hosts and 4 SANS, all with 4GB FC HBAs.  I have no SAN switch experience, but can learn fast.  Currently, all the hosts string together in a nightmarish point-2-point configuration, which requires 3 WWN's per host to see all 3 SANS required.

Is there a licensing aspect to these Brocade SANs that people sell on ebay for under 100$?  Some of them come with 8x GBIC adapters on a 16-port (4GB) configuration.  Will I be able to activate any of these ports via licensing?  Is the documentation pretty straight forward and available on this procedure?  

Any blogs?

LVL 16
Chris HInfrastructure ManagerAsked:
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Connect devices to hosts and access as iSCSI?
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
Brocade sells 24 port switches (brocade 300) with 8 port licenses instead of making actual 8 port hardware. That way you can just add licenses when you need more ports. As to them being $100 good luck with that. They are $3k new, you can find some referbs for $1k, ymmv on eBay.
Chris HInfrastructure ManagerAuthor Commented:
@Gheist  The transport type is Fibre Channel, the volumes are Block storage on a SAN.  The host technology is SCST_FIO

@Aaron So these guys selling used brocades on ebay are just selling paper weights?

I need to connect 8 x 4GB Fibre connections together.  I don't care what brand or even if it involves soldering and voiding warranties.  Is there no reasonably affordable solution to fabric 8 LC connections together?
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Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
There is plenty of legit stuff on eBay, just be careful is all. People upgrade to the 16gbps fiber channel, business close, all sorts of reasons things end up on eBay.
3-5k USD for storage switch is a lot.
16port 10Gbe switch costs 1000$ and each adapter <100$
I suggest stop investing in dinosaurs.
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
so I took a peek at ebay and there are quite a few brocade 300 switches with 8-24 ports licensed WITH OPTICS for $600. If you are careful, that might be a good route.

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Chris HInfrastructure ManagerAuthor Commented:
The key is searching for the word "Active" when searching for the brocade switches.   Thanks again.
Aaron TomoskyDirector of Solutions ConsultingCommented:
Also in the description some people post the config and license output. I'd trust those a bit more than the "password unknown you will have to reset the switch" ones. I feel like why didn't they reset the switch and post the config then? For something in this price range that seems reasonable.
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