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SnapMirror over Fibre Channel topology

SnapMirror over Fibre Channel is typically used in SAN-based data centers where Fibre Channel infrastructure may already be in use.

SnapMirror traffic between source and destination storage systems travels through the Fibre Channel network. The adapters installed in the storage systems translate the SnapMirror IP packets to and from Fibre Channel frames.

Topology choices

SnapMirror over Fibre Channel requires at least one Fibre Channel switch in the data path.

More complex topologies can involve multiple paths and switches between source and destination storage systems, as shown in the following illustration:

The storage systems in each building are arranged in an HA pair. An HA pair removes single points of failure and provides a more practical, fault-tolerant setup.

Multipath support

SnapMirror over Fibre Channel supports multipath configurations, just as SnapMirror over Ethernet. The configurations are identical.

Private subnet considerations

The storage system needs to direct Fibre Channel Virtual Interface (FCVI) traffic to the Fibre Channel NIC adapter. Therefore, you should configure the IP address of a Fibre Channel NIC port within the range of the private subnet, one that is not globally routable.

The private subnets include:
  • 10/8
  • 172.16/12
  • 192.168/16

Multiple SAN islands support

You might partition your SAN into multiple SAN islands. SnapMirror over Fibre Channel currently supports the Cisco VSAN feature.
Note: The Brocade Multiprotocol Router feature is not supported in the SnapMirror over Fibre Channel data path.

Extended fabric considerations

A typical SnapMirror over Fibre Channel setup involves an extended fabric configuration to mirror data on the primary storage system to a remote site.

The remote site might be quite far from the primary site. To achieve proper operation and expected throughput of the SnapMirror data transfer, you need to follow these guidelines.
  • Verify that proper equipment is used in the data path, including:
    • Long-distance, small form-factor pluggable (SFP) optical transceiver modules
    • Long-distance fiber optic cables and repeaters
  • Verify that the Fibre Channel switch is extended-fabric capable and has the appropriate license for the capability.
  • Configure the inter-switch links (ISLs) to be extended-fabric ports.

For information about how to check the extended license and configure a switch port to be in extended-fabric mode, see the documentation for the specific switch.