Fibre Channel (FC) Trunking (Port Aggregation) on Servers, How It’s Possible?
We are all knowing LACP on ethernet network but Fibre Channel and SAN network providing multipathing I/O by using logical and physical paths as single device on operating system and also using path selecting policies for using I/O paths optimized. But if server using 16Gb/s FC HBA, so there is no bandwidth aggregation. Server can generate bandwidth for each port up to maximum speed of port and also path selecting has performance impact of server when large paths are presented to server. Months before, I was thinking about FC port aggregation and did many searches but I didn’t find anything until now.
FC Port Aggregation Possibility
First question and biggest one, is that possible? Answer is yes but seems need to specific hardware.
Also there are some specific configuration or design consideration on Storage Area Network.
Which Hardware Supporting FC Port Aggregation (Trunking)?
At this time, there is some hardware to implement port aggregation on FC ports:
- Emulex Gen 7 Fibre Channel HBA
- Brocade Gen 6 switches
Fibre Channel Port Aggregation Benefits
FC Port Trunking benefits are as follows:
- Balances traffic at a frame level
- Aggregates bandwidth
- Reduces response time
- Enhances performance
- Maintains in-order delivery
- Minimizes disruptions and eliminates outages when links are added or removed
- Eliminates fabric events due to addition or loss of links
- Complimentary to multipath software and requires no software changes to the failover system
- Enables flexible assignment and grouping of trunks to fit bandwidth needs
- Supports Slow Drain Device Quarantine (SDDQ), encryption, and compression in sensitive Inter-Switch Links