Using QLogic switches with Apple Fibre Channel Cards

Learn how to use QLogic switches with Apple Fibre Channel Cards.

When using QLogic fibre switches with Apple Fibre Channel Cards (HBAs) in a Storage Area Network (SAN) topology such as an Xsan deployment, or in a Network Area Storage (NAS) deployment, you may need to modify the port settings to ensure constant communication between devices on the fabric. The port settings may vary depending on whether the fibre switch port will connect to an Apple Fibre Channel Card or to a fibre-attached storage device. In fibre switch terminology, hosts such as an Xserve or a Mac Pro workstation are known as initiators, and fibre-attached storage devices are known as targets.

Each Qlogic Switch has Port Property settings that ensure consistent fibre communications and maximum performance. Follow these steps to configure each switch’s settings:

  1. Connect to the switch with one of the following Qlogic switch administration tools:
    • - Enterprise Fabric Suite
    • - San Surfer Switch Manager Application
    • - San Surfer Switch Manager via a Java-enabled Web browser. To access this, connect to the switch's IP address with a Java-enabled Web browser over port 80
  2. Enter the IP address assigned to the switch’s ethernet port. If you are not certain what IP address is assigned to the Qlogic switch, refer to the Product Manual. Enter authentication information. If you are not sure what administrator name and password is assigned to the Qlogic switch, refer to the Product Manual.
  3. Double-click the switch. Shift-select each port connected to an Initiator. From the Switch menu choose Port Properties and apply the following settings:
    • Setting 1: Port State: Select “online”
    • Setting 2: Port Speed: Select “auto-detect”
    • Setting 3: Port Type: Select “GL“
    • Setting 4: I/O Streamguard: ”Enable“
    • Setting 5: Device Scan: ”Disable”
  4. Shift-select each port connected to a Target. From the Switch menu choose Port Properties and apply the following settings:
    • Setting 1: Port State: Select “online”
    • Setting 2: Port Speed: Select “auto-detect”
    • Setting 3: Port Type: Select “GL“
    • Setting 4: I/O Streamguard: ”Disable“
    • Setting 5: Device Scan: ”Enable”

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for each Qlogic Switch in your deployment.

If using a Qlogic 9000 Series switch, see this article for additional configuration information.

Learn more

Important: I/O Stream Guard prevents disruption by suppressing the communication of Registered State Change Notifications (RSCNs) between initiators. If your Initiators are nodes in a High Performance Computing Cluster, they may rely on RSCNs for proper functionality. Note also that while I/O Stream Guard suppressed RSCN communications between initiators, Target RSCNs are not suppressed. Therefore, shutting down, booting, or restarting Xserve RAIDs results in RSCNs being sent to Initiators and pauses in communication.

Finally, make sure that you are running the most recent version of firmware recommended by Qlogic for your Qlogic Switch, which you can get from the QLogic website. For instructions on how to change port settings, please see the QLogic product manual that is specific to your switch model. You can download QLogic switch manuals from the QLogic website.

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