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What are the three major Fiber Channel topologies? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Siva   
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 15:49

Point-to-Point (FC-P2P).

Two devices are connected directly to each other. This is the simplest topology, with limited connectivity.

 Arbitrated loop (FC-AL).

In this design, all devices are in a loop or ring, similar to token ring networking. Adding or removing a device from the loop causes all activity on the loop to be interrupted. The failure of one device causes a break in the ring. Fibre Channel hubs exist to connect multiple devices together and may bypass failed ports. A loop may also be made by cabling each port to the next in a ring. 

  ○ A minimal loop containing only two ports, while appearing to be similar to FC-P2P, differs considerably in terms of the protocol.

  ○ Only one pair of ports can communicate concurrently on a loop.

 Switched fabric (FC-SW).

All devices or loops of devices are connected to Fibre Channel switches, similar conceptually to modern Ethernet implementations. Advantages of this topology over FC-P2P or FC-AL include:

  ○ The switches manage the state of the fabric, providing optimized interconnections.

  ○ The traffic between two ports flows through the switches only, it is not transmitted to any other port.

  ○ Failure of a port is isolated and should not affect operation of other ports.

Multiple pairs of ports may communicate simultaneously in a fabric.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 November 2010 18:47


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