Oversubscribed Inter-Switch Link Issues on Your SAN Fabric

The SAN Fabric is the collection of switches, and sometimes routers, that connect hosts to storage systems over a fibre channel network. In some Storage Area Network environments, or SAN for short, there are switches that connect to other switches. These are called Inter-switch Links, or ISLs for short, and the port type for ISLs is ‘E’. You can think of the ISL’s as the connectors that link major freeways. When these connectors do not have enough lanes to keep traffic flowing smoothly it can cause congestion and result in buffer credit shortages which can lead to performance delays.

In this short video we want to show how to identify Inter-switch Link (or ISL) contention and show how adding additional ISL’s can spread out the load and reduce the utilization on your SAN fabric. After identifying the problem with these links we will compare the utilization and buffer credit shortages/sec after an additional ISL was added.

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