Nowadays, many small and medium business and organizations such as local government, campus and some agencies etc., require fast and frequent access to database the files. A storage Area Network (SAN) with Fibre Channel (FC) switching technology (Figure 1) offers the speed and reliability for them. Brocade 5100 switch is an ideal Fibre Channel switch used for those organizations and can meet a variety of SAN environments.
Brief Introduction to Brocade 5100
The Brocade 5100 is a 1U Enterprise class Fibre Channel switch which combines 1, 2, 4, and 8 Gbps Fibre Channel technology in configurations of 24, 32 or up to 40 ports, getting an overall bandwidth of 320 Gbps. It is very flexible to users since it enables organizations to use 4Gbps SFPs today and upgrade to 8Gbps SFPs when required. By utilizing the sixth-generation ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) technology featuring five 8-port groups, it can reduce congestion and increase bandwidth. Because an ISL (Inter-Switch Link) trunk can supply up to 64 Gbps of balanced data throughput within these groups. In addition, enhanced Brocade ISL Trunking also utilizes ISLs more efficiently to preserve the number of usable switch ports. As shown in Figure 2, the port side of the Brocade 5100 includes the system status and power LED, console port, Ethernet port and LEDs, USB port, and FC ports and the corresponding port status LEDs. And the FC ports are numbered from left to right, in eight-port groups from 0 to 39, as illustrated in Figure 3.
Brocade 5100 ISL Trunking
As mentioned above, the Brocade 5100 can benefit from the trunking features which optimizes the use of bandwidth by allowing a group of ISL to merge into a single logical link. As we know, when ISL configured, there are certain issues like congestion. The congestion of Fibre channel links will eventually lead to performance issue and severe production impact. In this case, ISL trunking is an ideal solution to solve this issue.
As Figure 4 shown, when two switches get connected, there is a ISL link and the network traffic starts to flow through this link to the other switch. Without trunking, the congestion caused in the ISL which resulted in frames loss and bandwidth waste.
Using ISL trunking configurations, shown as Figure 5 (a), at 2Gbps speeds, the trunking delivers ISL throughput of up to 8 Gbps, avoiding the ISL congestion at the same time. In the same way, using 4 Gbps with 8 trunks can reach up to 32 Gbps, as Figure 5 (b) displayed.
Transceiver Options for Brocade 5100
Cable runs require transceivers at each end in SAN. In the SAN with Brocade Fibre Channel switches, Fibre Channel transceivers are used. Since the Brocade 5100 can support 1/2/4/8Gbps Fibre Channel, the transceiver options for Brocade 5100 are available in 1G, 2G, 4G and 8G Fibre Channel transceiver modules. Among these options, the transceivers with the data rate of 2, 4 and 8 Gbps are most commonly used in today’s Fibre Channel deployment. In addition, you can select either single-mode or multimode implementations by using the corresponding optics.
The following table shows the 2/4/8G transceiver modules that are available in infiberone.com. With strict coding technology and test assurance, these transceiver modules are highly compatible with Brocade and can achieve high performance in your Brocade 5100 switch in a cost-saving manner.