Administering extended fabrics
Licensing for Extended Fabrics
An Extended Fabrics license is required before you can implement long distance dynamic (LD) and long
distance static (LS) distance levels. The LD and LS settings are necessary to achieve maximum performance
results over Inter-Switch Links (ISLs) that are greater than 10 km.
Use the Time-Based Temporary Licensing that can be generated with the expiration date embedded in the
license key to activate the Extended Fabrics feature.
Use the licenseShow command to verify that the license is on both switches at either end of the
extended ISL. For details on obtaining and installing licensed features, see
Extended Fibre Channel over distance
Extended Fabrics software optimizes switch buffering to ensure the highest possible performance on ISLs.
When Extended Fabrics is installed on gateway switches, the ISLs (E_Ports) are configured with a large
pool of buffer credits. The enhanced switch buffers help ensure that data transfer can occur at near-full
bandwidth to efficiently utilize the connection over the extended links.
The Extended Fabrics feature extends the distance the ISLs can reach over a dark fiber or wave division
multiplexing (WDM) connection. This is accomplished by providing enough buffer credits on each side of
the link to compensate for latency introduced by the extended distance.
Implementing extended fabrics between HP StorageWorks SAN Switch 2/8-EL, HP StorageWorks
SAN Switch 2/16-EL, HP StorageWorks SAN Switch 2/16, and HP StorageWorks MSA SAN Switch 2/8;
and switches running Fabric OS 6.x is not supported.
Distance levels for extended Inter-Switch Links
As the distance between switches and the link speed increases, additional buffer credits are required for
the ports used for long-distance connections. Distance levels define how these buffer credits are allocated
and managed for extended ISLs. Buffer credits are managed from a common pool available to a group of
ports on a switch. The buffer credit can be changed for specific applications or operating environments,
but it must be in agreement among all switches to allow formation of the fabric.
Information about switch characteristics and capacity in terms of buffers per port group and distances
supported are in
choosing an appropriate distance level, and for estimating the impact an extended ISL may have on buffer
availability and port performance.
Buffer-to-Buffer (BB) credit flow control is implemented to limit the amount of data a port may send, based
on the number and size of the frames sent from that port. Buffer credits represent finite physical port
memory. Within a fabric, each port may have a different number of BB credits. Within a connection, each
side may have a different number of BB credits. One buffer credit allows a device to send one payload up
to 21 12 bytes (2148 with headers). Assuming that each payload is 21 12, you need one credit per 1 km of
link length at 2 Gb/s (smaller payloads require additional BB credits to maintain link utilization).
The final frame size must be a multiple of 4 bytes. If the data (payload) needs to segment, it will be padded
with 1 to 3 "fill-bytes" to achieve an overall 4-byte frame alignment. The standard frame header size is 24
bytes. If applications require extensive control information, up to 64 additional bytes (for a total of an
88-byte header) can be included. Because the total frame size cannot exceed the maximum of 2148 bytes,
the additional header bytes will subtract from the data segment size by as much as 64 bytes (per frame).
This is why the maximum data (payload) size is 21 12 (because [21 12 – 64] = 2048, which is exactly 2
Kbytes of data). The final frame, after it is constructed, is passed through the 8-byte to 10-byte conversion
on page 427 and
on page 428. These tables may be useful in
Fabric OS 6.2 administrator guide 423