How can I merge SAN fabrics with SAN switches from different vendors?

The Fabric Shortest Path First (FSFP) routing protocol will help you merge storage-area network (SAN) fabrics with switches from different vendors.

My firm has recently merged with another and both infrastructures have storage-area networks (SANs) from the same vendor. But the fabrics of each are built using switches from different manufacturers. What issues are likely to arise when merging the two?
As far as the switches, there shouldn't be any major issues with merging fabrics to an expanded SAN due to the Fabric Shortest Path First (FSFP) routing protocol. FSFP was created in 1997 by Brocade Communications Inc., and the protocol has since been adopted as the routing standard between Fibre Channel (FC) switches within a SAN fabric.


To further ensure a successful merge, confirm that the following prerequisites have been fulfilled:

  • Check for conflicting named zones and rename them if required
  • Ensure that there's interoperability between the firmware and protocol versions on each switch, and perform updates to these if necessary. Some switches may also require an additional hardware module to make this functionality available.
This was last published in October 2009

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