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August 21st, 2010 13:00

New Switch in Fabric


If I am introducing a new switch in a fabric, What are the steps I should follow? What are the changes that will take place in fabric and existing switches in fabric?


Shankar R

546 Posts

August 23rd, 2010 08:00

Shanker, I moved this to the open community. Maybe one of the SAN guys will see it now. -Gina

5 Practitioner


274.2K Posts

August 31st, 2010 07:00

Hi Shankar,

That's a question that depends on many things.

Which vendor will you use? There are specific steps for each manufacturer. For example you would have to consider VSAN configuration in MDS.

Are you using any vendor specific features? Trunking on B-Series requires a license and specific port groups be used to form the Trunk.

What is the Fabric Topology? Core/Edge, Full Mesh? Rules for expanding the Fabric must be followed.

However there general steps to add a switch to an existing fabric would be

  • Have a plan defined on paper. Role of the switch, DIDs, Switch Priorities, ISL Ports, etc
  • Configure VSAN/Virtual Fabric settings if using these features
  • Configure the Switch Parameters
    • Set the Domain ID to a unique number and statically assign it
    • Set the Switch Priority depending on the Switch's role in the fabric (low priority numbers for Core switches, higher priority numbers for Edge switches)
  • Configure the Switch ports
    • Although not required due to auto-configuration, it is often better to hard set the port type and speed on ISL links.
    • Set speed and port type (E_Port or TE_Port, vendor/feature dependent)
  • Configure any security settings, ACLs etc
  • Connect the ISL cables
  • Modify the Zoning to allow any new devices attached to communicate within the SAN (or migrate your devices if this addition was for expansion).

As for the changes within the Fabric, there should be nothing discernable within the Fabric if all was planned correctly. Domain IDs should be uniquely and statically assigned, and the Principal switch remains the same after the merge. Zoning is shared across all switches in the fabric. Again, depending on the vendor/features used there may be additional steps or requirements to this, however I have outlined the general merge sequence here.

This subject is covered in the SAN Management course offered by EMC. For more in depth knowledge, look at the Advanced SAN Design course (for architects), and for fixing problems with Fabric Merges, look at the new Troubleshooting Storage Area Networks class!
All are available on


Mike Warner
Senior Technical Education Consultant
EMC Education Services
EMC² Corporation
55 Constitution Blvd.
Franklin, Massachusetts 02038

22 Posts

October 6th, 2010 12:00

Thank you so much Mike..

Thanks for mentioning about the Study Materials as well. This helps me allot..


Shankar R

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