It All Adds Up to ISLs, Mesh Networks
Simple math shows why 10G-BPS Fibre Channel speed matters a great deal for Inter-Switch Links.Simple math shows why 10G-BPS Fibre Channel speed matters a great deal for Inter-Switch Links. To establish a 10G-bps link between two switches using standard 2G-bps Fibre Channel ports, an IT manager would have to dedicate five ports on each switch to generate an ISL trunk between them. On a small, entry-class switch such as QLogic Corp.s SANbox 5200, which has only 16 2G-bps ports to start with, doing so would consume nearly a third of the switchs ports just to set up a single ISL trunk.
Now imagine having to add a third switch to the mesh of this SAN (storage area network). In this scenario, the IT manager would need an extra five ports on each switch to complete the mesh, which would leave just six ports on each switch to hook in targets (storage devices) and initiators (servers and workstations).