Initiator, Target, Both or None ??

Whenever you’ve encountered an output of a nameserver entry you may have come across the phenomenon that the fabric has no clue what the attached device is. For a FC switch an attached device (or N-port in technical terms) is not more than a source or destination where frames originate from or can be sent to. As soon as smarter functions are required it may be helpful (or required) to be able to obtain more information from that device.

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Brocade, Brocade Technical, Fibre Channel, Storage Networking, Troubleshooting , , ,

Brocade Network Advisor (BNA) is End-of-Life

So the final nail is in the coffin. Brocade Network Advisor is being put to rest. The juggling of Java code to the ever expanding demand of functions, features and other capabilities was no longer sustainable. Oracle starting to charge for Java would’ve made the decision even easier.

The replacement is SANNav (No I don’t get into the same discussion VMWare has with which character should be capitalized or not. :-))

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Getting rid of whitespace

No, not storage related but more towards coding scripts etc and assuring your git repositories do not show up with huge diff sections you need to correct. Just a little tip and a “note to self”.

If you’ve event been keen enough to not use an IDE for whatever language you use and kept to a real editor (VIM obviously.. :-)) you may have encountered the phenomenon that whitespace at the end of lines is a nasty thing to look at when you start putting stuff into version control repositories like Subversion or GIT. A little change from some copy or past action may leave you with a “git diff” of a couple of hundred lines you need to correct.

To fix that simply let VIM clear out all empty whitespace (tabs, spaces, etc.) by having these removed before the actual write to disk.

To do that simply add

autocmd BufWritePre *.sh :%s/\s\+$//e

to your ~/.vimrc and with every :w the substitute function driven by the regex after the colon will remove it all in all shell scripts (*.sh). Obviously you can add every extension you need here.  Very handy.



General Info, Linux , ,

SFP in -INF state

The entire IT industry is packed with mathematics. So instead of keeping things easy we need to work our way around imposed restriction that have been imposed on us by history.

When hardware was developed 1 to 5 decades ago things were (maybe still are) very expensive. Every corner was cut to keep costs low in order to be to sell anything. You can have the latest and greatest but if you’re pricing yourself out of the market the shelf-life of your shares becomes very short and at some stage you basically cease to exist. Companies like DEC and SUN have found out the hard way. Fabulous marvels of engineering but lack of sales and marketing efforts aligned to that engineering feat basically failed to gain sufficient traction in the market and as such they are no more.

Going back to the hardware restrictions and the SFP -INF state

You may encounter some output from an sfpshow (Brocade) or “show transceiver detail” (Cisco) like this:

Temperature: 46 Centigrade
Current: 6.428 mAmps
Voltage: 3261.5 mVolts
RX Power: -inf dBm (0.0 uW)
TX Power: -3.3 dBm (464.2 uW)

So what does that mean? Read on.

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Troubleshooting ,

FOS 8.2.1 – the one that is required.. or not?

Like clockwork Brocade releases new FOS version around every 6 months. No news here. FOS 8.2.1 is however a release you may need to pay special attention to especially if you have X6 director class switches hooked up to a 240 volt, 50 Hz power mains as well as sitting between a rock and a hard place with the 7800 extension switch but don;t have the budget to go to a relatively pricey 7840. One other thing is the change in licensing hardening on pizza-box switches which makes the upgrade to this release a one-way street without being able to go back.

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Brocade Technical, Troubleshooting , , ,

Logs, Logs, Logs and more Logs

Nice title especially if you’re in the lumberjack business. 🙂 All kidding aside. Support engineers rely 100% on these things and if we’re asking for them please don’t hesitate to provide them.

It has been ventilated a fair amount of time that some people see this as some sort of “delay-tactic” from support engineers but nothing can be farther from the truth. Main reason is that we don’t get any benefit anyway, it doesn’t solve your problem nor does it dismiss us from providing you a timely solution to your problem..

Read on…………..

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Release notes and upgrades. Decision time.

Ughh, upgrades, maintenance, risk of downtime, out of hours work and pulling all-nighters or even weekends when your wife and kids start wondering who that strange man is that sometimes shows his face through the back-door.

But what made you decide to do the upgrades on your OS, firmware, applications etc.

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Troubleshooting , , , ,

When to replace an SFP

Maybe the title should be “When to NOT replace an SFP” as I see in many occasions it is seen as a first option of fixing problems. In reality the SFP is one of the least failing components in the environment and replacing them more often leads to other problem than actually resolving the original issue.

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Config Guide, Troubleshooting , , ,

FOS 8.2.0 – The first Broadcom FOS release.

With the transition to Broadcom the Brocade entity now operating under that flag has release it’s first major release 8.2.0.

The release notes show a somewhat strange title: “Fabric OS v8.2.0 for Brocade SAN Product Family“. As if FOS ever was intended to run on any other platform than SAN switches ?!?!?!… Weird..

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Brocade, Storage Networking , , ,

Brocade is no more

Exactly 20 years ago I installed my first Fibre Channel switch. It was from a startup company founded by Kumar Malavalli, Paul Bonderson and Seth Neiman who wanted to dive into the storage networking business based on a protocol developed by one of my long term mentors and the god-father of Fibre-Channel Horst Truestedt together with a bunch of highly skilled engineers.

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Brocade, General Info ,