Feature/function matrix: 2G bit/sec. fabric switches

Feature/function matrix: 2G bit/sec. fabric switches

This is a sample version of a complete feature/function matrix to help you quickly sort out various storage hardware and software capabilities. Please note that some areas of this sample report are intentionally left blank.

You can purchase these feature/function matrices separately from the Evaluator Group store and they are also available to the subscribers of their ES/OL Web accessible database where they are regularly updated.

Products in this matrix:

  • Brocade Silkworm 3200 and 3800
  • Gadzoox Slingshot 4210 and 4218
  • McDATA Sphereon 3216 and 3232
  • Qlogic SANbox 8-port and 16-port
  • Vixel 9100, 9200 and 9300-HA

Items included in the full comparison matrix are:

  • Port Type*
  • Media*
  • Protocol standards
  • Fabric services
  • Performance
  • Architecture
  • Availability
  • Serviceability
  • Management tools and protocol
  • Management functionality
  • Security features

(* Items displayed with an asterisk are included in the following, partial matrix.)

Vendor-independent education - Data from the complete matrix chart is included in the content of some Evaluator Group seminars. These seminars are held publicly and can be tailored for and presented to private audiences. Check out the current seminar schedule.

You can find these sample matrix charts here.

Vendor Brocade Brocade Gadzoox Gadzoox McData McData
Product SilkWorm 3200 SilkWorm 3800 Slingshot 4210 Slingshot 4218 Sphereon 3216 Sphereon 3232
Connectivity - - - - - -
#ports 8 16 10 18 8-16, Flexport Technology(1) 16-32, Flexport Technology
Scalability (2) 239, 7 hops 32 certified 239, 7 hops 32 certified 239, 7 hops 239, 7 hops - -
Port type - - - - - -
F_Port Yes Yes, U_Port Yes Yes Yes, G_Port (3) Yes, G_Port
FL_Port Yes Yes, U_Port Yes Yes No (4) No
E_Port 1-8 ports (5), Backwards interoperability for E_port connection to earlier Silkworm (i.e., 1G bit) switches Yes, up to 16, Backwards interoperability for E_port connection to earlier Silkworm (i.e., 1G bit) switches Yes Yes Yes, G_Port (3) Yes, G_Port
Mix and match ports (6) Yes Yes Yes Yes Not applicable Not applicable
Other - - - - - -
Media - - - - - -
Interface SFP SFP SFP SFP SFP SFP
Copper(m) No No HSSDC-2 when GBICs available HSSDC-2 when GBICs available No No
Short wave optical(m) Yes(500m) Yes(500m) Yes(500m) Yes(500m) Yes(500m) Yes(500m)
Long wave optical(km) Yes(10km) Yes(10km) Yes(13km) when GBICs are available Yes(13km) when GBICs are available Yes(10km), 100 km with repeaters Yes(10km), 100 km with repeaters
Mixed media (copper+optical) No No Yes Yes No No
ISL trunking Yes, up to 4 lines/ISL trunk achieving 8G bit/sec. per ISL trunk. In-order frame delivery between switches. Frame striping across sequence (7) Yes, up to 4 lines/ISL trunk achieving 8G bit/sec. per ISL trunk. In-order frame delivery between switches. Frame striping across sequence Yes. Any port can be part of the trunk group. No limit on number of trunks or lines per trunk (8) Yes. Any port can be part of the trunk group. No limit on number of trunks or lines per trunk Open trunking (H202). Unlimited number of lines per trunk. Heterogeneous support. Backward compatible with 1G bit products (9) Open trunking (H202). Unlimited number of lines per trunk. Heterogeneous support. Backward compatible with 1G bit products
MAN capability (maximum distance at full bandwidth) Optional. Extended fabrics (10), 60km (2G bit), 120 km (1G bit) Optional. Extended fabrics, 60km (2G bit), 120 km (1G bit) Interoperable with SANValley, SANcastle, CNT and Cisco Interoperable with SANValley, SANcastle, CNT and Cisco 120km (1G bit). 60km (2G bit). 60 buffer credits per port on all ports for full bandwidth across the specified distance. 120km (1G bit). 60km (2G bit). 60 buffer credits per port on all ports for full bandwidth across the specified distance.

The above table is continued below.

Vendor QLogic QLogic Vixel Vixel
Product SANbox 8-port SANbox 16-port 9100 9200/9300-HA
Connectivity - - - -
#ports 8 16 (11) 8 16
Scalability (2) 239 Domains tested: 8 switches, 8 hop fabrics 239 Domains tested: 8 switches, 8 hop fabrics 7 hops(linear) 15 hops(linear); 32 switches & 7 hops(mesh)
Port type - - - -
F_Port Yes (GL_Port) Yes (GL_Port) Autoconfiguring G_Port Autoconfiguring G_Port
FL_Port Yes (public or private) (GL_Port) (12) Yes (public or private) (GL_Port) Autoconfiguring G_Port Autoconfiguring G_Port
E_Port Yes(GL_Port) SANmark qualified. Backward interoperability with 1G bit switches Yes(GL_Port) SANmark qualified. Backward interoperability with 1G bit switches Yes Yes
Mix and match ports Yes Yes Yes Yes
Other - - - -
Media - - - -
Interface SFP SFP SFP SFP
Copper(m) No No HSSDC-2 active copper (13) HSSDC-2 active copper
Short wave optical(m) Yes(500m) Yes(500m) Yes Yes
Long wave optical(km) Yes(10km, 20-30km with repeaters) Yes(10km, 20-30km with repeaters) Yes Yes
Mixed media (copper+optical) No No Yes Yes
ISL trunking No No Yes, Q3 02 Yes, Q3 02
MAN capability (maximum distance at full bandwidth) 120km (2G bit) using buffer credits at no extra charge 120km (2G bit) using buffer credits at no extra charge ~50km ~50km

 

1. Flexport Technology refers to the ability to incrementally populate the McDATA Sphereon switches. The Sphereon 3216 switch can initially be populated with 8 ports and upgraded to 16 ports. Similarly, the Sphereon 3232 can start at 16 ports and be upgraded to 32 ports in 8-port increments.
2. Scalability refers to the number of switches that can be linked together.
3. A G_Port is a port on a Fibre Channel switch that can function either as an F_Port or as an E_Port.
4. McDATA provides access to FC_AL devices through its 8-port loop switch, the ES-1000.
5. Entry-Fabric option has one E_port (one universal port). Full-Fabric option has eight E_ports (eight universal ports). Upgrade to the Full-Fabric option is via a non-disruptive software license key. Entry-Fabric option can be upgraded to Full-Fabric with a software license key.
6. Mix and match ports refers to the ability for any port to be used as an F_Port, FL_Port, or E_Port without limitations on the number of any type of port.
7. Brocade’ ISL trunking is implemented in the ASIC chip to ensure in-order frame delivery between switches. Frames from a single sequence (a sequence is a set of Fibre Channel data frames with a common Sequence_ID (SEQ_ID), corresponding to one message element, block, or Information Unit. Sequences are transmitted from initiator to recipient, with an acknowledgment, if applicable, transmitted from recipient to initiator) are striped across the individual links that comprise the trunk to improve the granularity of bandwidth utilization, and as a result, improve overall trunking performance.
8. Other than total number of ports per switch. Mix or match Slingshot 4210 or 4218 switches.
9. McDATA’ Open Trunking, an optional firmware upgrade due to be released in H2 2002, is a software-based ISL trunking solution. It supports an unlimited number of ISLs per trunk, and supports mixed (i.e., 1 and 2G bit products) heterogeneous (i.e., multi-vendor) topologies. Any port can be part of any trunk group, and trunking can span multiple port cards (i.e., trunked ports do not have to be contiguous). Performance is optimized through load-balancing. Open Trunking is backward compatible with the installed base of McDATA products. At its release, McDATA will make Open Trunking available for distribution to the installed base so that older McDATA products can configured for ISL trunking.
10. Extended Fabrics is optional software that extends full fabric SAN-to-SAN connectivity from 10 kilometers to 120 kilometers through the use of different buffering allocation and credit handling, extended distance GBICs, and Fibre Channel repeaters over Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) or dark fiber Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). The switch ISLs (E_ports) are configured with up to 60 buffer credits to ensure near-full bandwidth performance. The maximum distance allowed for 1G bit products is 120 kilometers. For 2G bit products the maximum distance is 60 kilometers. Each device attached appears as a local device to simplify management.
11. SANbox 16-port switch can be populated in 1-port increments.
12. All ports can assume any of the following: F_port, FL_port, E_port, TL_port (Translative Mode = allows public-to-private and private-to-public bridging).
13. Vixel offers HSSDC2 active copper capability but at present, no HBA vendor offers copper because of issues with passing EMI tests.

===========================================================
To view all Storage Evaluator analyses and commentaries, go to Storage Evaluator Tips ===========================================================

The Evaluator Series and Evaluator Series On-Line (ES/OL) are trademarks of Evaluator Group, Inc.


This was first published in June 2002

Dig deeper on SAN switch

Pro+

Features

Enjoy the benefits of Pro+ membership, learn more and join.

0 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchSolidStateStorage

SearchVirtualStorage

SearchCloudStorage

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchDataBackup

Close