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Differences between a two-switch fabric and a full fabric

Could you explain the difference between a two-switch fabric and a full fabric?

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A two-switch fabric is just that. The SAN consists of two switches implemented in a way that there is no single point of failure. Brocade, for example, offers a two-switch license for their eight- and 16-port switches. It is targeted to the SMB market as a low cost solution for organizations that may not need anything more than this type of configuration.

A full fabric consists of many switches can be interconnected in a mesh. Generally, this is also done to avoid the SAN going down due to a failure of an HBA, storage port, transceiver, cable, switch or a switch port.

Keep in mind that all directors allow you to create the logical equivalent of a two-switch configuration, but the cost would be much higher.

This was first published in May 2005

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