Category Archive: Switches

All matters pertaining to swtiches and Storage Networking.

Sep 16

No SAN is an island…

Ok, that was too cutsey for such a classy establishment. When you’re building a SAN, everything should play together, in the same SAN box if you will (with my apologies to QLogic.) When you start putting in multiple stand-alone SAN islands you increase your maintenance overhead exponentially.  You also prevent the very thing that make …

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Jun 09


It’s funny that I got my start working with HP systems, first HP-MPE, then HP-UX, because I hate HP these days. HPUX is still the only operating system that can’t tolerate something as simple as a switch migration. HPUX is still, to this day, dependant on the /dev/dsk/cxtxdx numbering in it’s volume groups.  Unlike all …

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Mar 04

Brocade is just in a buying mood these days…

Brocade bought SBS. I don’t know how many of you happen to have looked at the resume I had posted – but I spent a couple of years at Strategic Business Systems ( I’m not sure what Brocade is hoping to get out of this.  SBS doesn’t do sales, and doesn’t even really have any …

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Mar 07

Be the Packet….

I was whiteboarding a switch migration today with one of the DCR people, and it occurred to me: If you can visualize the data’s path through the system, your life gets a lot easier.  If you can see the path the data is going to take through the San, I.E. from Switch1, Blade1, Port4 through …

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Feb 06

The Fake Synchronous SAN

In response to this article on “EnterpriseStorageForum”:  Synchronous SAN Sets Fibre Channel Distance Record My Response: True Synchronous transmission works over any distance – if you can live with the latency.   The problem is that most hosts operating systems can’t.  So different buffering schemes are cooked up to fool the host into thinking the write is …

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Dec 23

Cisco dial-home follow-up!

Cisco has released version 3.0(2) of their firmware, and with this, comes, finally, an EMAIL-HOME feature for the switch.  It’s not perfect (because unlike the dial-home on the Symm, this is dependent on an external server or two, and doesn’t work if the network connection is down. The long and the short of it is …

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Dec 09

EMC and Cisco are some kind of partners.

Ok, there is something I hate about Cisco- and it’s not really about Cisco, it’s about EMC’s complete failure to completely support their MDS series of switches. First – When you buy an MDS 9xxx switch from Cisco, it comes with the ability to dial into Cisco when there is a problem, much like EMC …

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Sep 23

Brocade + McData = McBroken? (Or BrokeData?) Given the choice between brocade and McData I’ll usually choose McData.  Now that I don’t have a choice, I think I’ll stick with Cisco. Truthfully Brocade needed McData.  McData has a solid director class switch, one that will withstand the tests of time and the rigors of a large-scale production datacenter.  Brocade never really …

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Sep 10

Switch preferences – Cisco vs. Brocade vs. Mcdata

It’s like religion with some people.  Cisco vs. Brocade. As someone who is no longer affiliated with any storage manufacturer or vendor, I can finally voice a real opinion. As a consultant, I’ve installed more than 100 switches of every size and flavor.  The most disasterous install was a job in Norfolk, VA, where a …

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