Fibre Channel Switch Options Update

May 25, 2017 by Brent Earls

bluewiresswitchesIn a previous post we talked about the death of QLogic switches. At the time, there was not a cost competitive replacement for those little switches. Additionally, a year ago when that was posted, there was still a whole year of hardware warranty left on the switches. Neither of those are the case now.

Unless you previously bought a very long service contract with QLogic, your warranty ends December 31, 2017. That is the official end of support for those switches. That means they need to be replaced before that period in time, as the switches are vital to the function of your environment. Luckily, Mirazon’s preferred fibre channel vendor, Brocade, has a new switch out that is a perfect replacement, the G610.

The G610 is, as you may have guessed, the baby brother to the G620. We covered the G620 in the previous post. It’s an amazing switch, but if you only need six to 12 ports, it’s overkill on both abilities and expense. The new G610 however, starts with only eight ports licensed, and grows in eight port increments. It’s still a 32 Gbit switch, so if you truly need that kind of speed on a small port count, you’re set. More likely, eight and 16 Gbit customers will go with it just as an affordable small switch. Street price for these switches is starting around $4,000, which is much cheaper than previous switches that were available.

In addition to all of that, the G610 is ready for NVMe over FC, a standard that will be adopted in the next few years by many storage vendors for low latency, highly transactional, high speed storage connectivity. Here’s an updated switch comparison chart with the new niche filled in:

Switch Maximum Speed of ports (FC) Maximum Number of ports Uplink Ports Speed and number of base ports License Upgrades
QLogic 3810 8 Gbit 8 None 8x 8 Gbit None
QLogic 5802v 8 Gbit 20 4x 20 Gbit 8x 8 Gbit 4 port increments
Brocade 6505 16 Gbit 24 None 12x 16 Gbit 12 port increments
Brocade 6510 16 Gbit 48 None 24x 16 Gbit 12 port increments
Brocade 6520 16 Gbit 96 None 48x 16 Gbit 12 port increments
Brocade G610 32 Gbit 24 None 8x 32 Gbit 8 port increments
Brocade G620 32 Gbit 64* 4x 128 Gbit 24x 16 Gbit 12/16 port increments**
Cisco MDS 9148S 16 Gbit 48 None 12x 16 Gbit 12 port increments
Cisco MDS 9250i 16 Gbit 40x 16 Gbit8x it FCoE
2x 10 Gbe
2x 10gbe for FCIP
8x FCoE
12x 16 Gbit FC8x 10 Gbit FCoE2x 10 Gbe 20x FC
Cisco MDS 9396S 16 Gbit 96 None 48x 16 Gbit 12 port increments

*Assuming that the uplink ports use fanout cables to provide more 32 Gbit ports.

**12 ports until the last block, which is 16.

If you’re ready to upgrade your Fibre Channel switch, email us or call us at 502-240-0404!

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