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Storage switches: Five tips in five minutes

What you will learn: SearchStorage.com readers frequently ask questions about switches. This article offers a collection of expert responses to recent reader questions.

According to Whatis.com, in a telecommunications

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network, a switch is a device that channels incoming data from any multiple input port to the specific output port that will take the data toward its intended destination. Basically, it's a technological traffic cop that keeps information traveling across the network from getting all smashed together.

Related information
SAN switches 

Storage switch growth spurred by new features 

Storage 101: Using a director switch
Over the years, storage area networks (SAN) have typically employed Fibre Channel (FC) switches to form a fabric. SAN switching products are primarily FC-based, ranging in size from a couple of ports to hundreds. SAN switches support speeds of 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps, 4 Gbps and 10 Gbps. Today's SAN switches also offer intelligence that can support high-level capabilities, like storage virtualization, security and a variety of other tasks. Over the past few years, IP SANs have also increased in popularity. These SANs employ Ethernet-based switches supporting speeds from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps, using copper and optical interfaces ranging in size from a couple of ports to hundreds of ports.

Switches are such an integral part of storage networking, its no surprise that over the years we have had a steady stream of switch-related questions in the Ask the Experts section of SearchStorage.com.

Check out some recent expert responses to reader questions below.

  • Ports changing from fabric to loop mode
  • Storage expert Greg Schulz explains why a reader's ports are changing from fabric to loop mode.

  • Connecting an MSA 1500 to an EVA 4000
  • Storage expert Greg Schulz discusses how to connect an MSA 1500 to an EVA 4000.

  • Director vs. switch
  • Storage expert Greg Schulz outlines things to consider when choosing switches for a SAN.

  • Using dark fiber to connect sites
  • SAN expert Greg Schulz discusses single-mode and multimode fiber optic cabling.

  • Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop or switched disk?
  • Storage expert Greg Schulz offers advice to a reader considering buying high-end storage from two different vendors -- one uses Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loop technology and one uses a switched-disk interface.


    This was first published in March 2007

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