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FC-AL port protocol for storage

I have a technical EMC Clariion question: When connecting a server directly to a CX product, is the FC protocol strictly FC-AL (Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop)? In other words, does CX only support FC-AL in a direct connection not point-to-point (by direct connection I mean that there is no FC switch between the server HBA and the Clariion host port)?

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To the best of my knowledge, that is correct for the CX, and most everyone else's storage. If there is no switch in the mix, most storage arrays would need to be set to FC-AL as the port protocol. The switch usually supplies all the FLOGI (Fabric Login) support for the FC-SW connections, including WWN registration. FC-AL is the easiest way to go for non-fabric connections.

This was first published in June 2005

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