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Why would you pursue an active/passive array?

For an active-passive dual-ported FC disk array:

1. What can cause switchover besides the failure of active controller? Login to the port, any SCSI commands or only read/write commands? Can you give me some product names, if any, in each category?

2. What is the granularity of the active-passive on the whole array or on each disk (i.e., port 1 is active for disk 1 but passive for disk 2 and port 2 is active for disk 2 but passive for disk 1)? Or, do ports have to be either the active or passive for the whole array?

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The only active-passive dual-ported FC arrays I am aware of are the EMC/Clariion line. I imagine that there are others but I am not familiar with them. Since features and characteristics of commercial items change all the time, I recommend that you contact your EMC sales team for additional information. I do question why you are pursuing active/passive arrays, though. Active/active arrays are much more prevalent and the technology is available in both pure hardware form and in a hardware/software hybrid approach which can be a lot less expensive.

Evan L. Marcus

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This was first published in July 2003

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