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Switches and switch fabrics

What is the difference between switch and switch fabric? Is it that in a switch, the host controls the transfers? And in fabric, even IO devices can takeover the control?

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This is a great question because it is a confusing topic for many. In Fibre Channel parlance, a fabric is the entity that provides network services to end nodes. A fabric can be a single switch or it can be multiple switches that exchange information about the network and the nodes connected to it. All end nodes attached to a fabric, whether it is one or more switches, will get uniform responses to all queries, regardless of which switch they are connected to.

Marc Farley

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This was first published in November 2001

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