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What's the basic difference between a fabric and a loop switch?

What's the basic difference between a fabric and a loop switch?
This is a Q&A from SAN School Lesson 5.
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A "loop switch" can also handle the FC-AL protocol and allows the attachment of older FC-AL-based SAN gear (like tape drives) to the fabric. The switch assigns a unique WWN for each FC-AL ID on the connection so that fabric-based devices can address the FC-AL-based device. Brocade was one of the first to provide this functionality through it's "QuickLoop" protocol in the original 2800 switches.
This was last published in March 2004

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