Definition

Fibre Channel switch (FC switch)

Contributor(s): Carol Sliwa

A Fibre Channel switch is a networking device that is compatible with the Fibre Channel (FC) protocol and designed for use in a dedicated storage area network (SAN).

A Fibre Channel switch inspects a data packet header, determines the computing devices of origin and destination, and forwards the packet to the intended system. Fibre Channel switches come in different types, including modular director switches (also known as backbone switches) with a high port count and fixed-port or semi-modular switches (also known as edge switches). FC switches can be combined to create large SAN fabrics that interconnect thousands of servers and storage ports.

A Fibre Channel switch is designed for high performance, low latency, high availability and lossless data transmission. Director-class FC switches can add additional capabilities such as encryption and zoning to disable unwanted traffic.

This was last updated in January 2015

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