Architecture for Low Cost Fibre Channel Mini-Hub Encapsulated in a Single GBIC Package
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jan-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Overview: In low cost Fibre Channel implementations the cost of hubs become a significant cost problem to the solution. This is especially true when in an MSCS cluster environment and using RAID controllers that have a single port to the host from each controller. Since the RAID controllers being used accept GBICs for their interconnection to the port, packaging a port bypass circuit as a minihub inside of the GBIC allows multi-host node connection for full redundancy at a minimal cost. No external hubs or additional Fibre Channel cables are required with this solution. Solution: Since a single host port on a controller only has a place for a single GBIC, sharing the controller for redundancy purposes is not viable without using an external hub that adds significant cost to the solution and takes additional rack space. The IBM 3542 is such a controller unit. Figure 1 below shows the configuration problem and how an external hub is needed.