Basics Of SAN Switch – SAN Switch Tutorial Part 1

In this post, we will discuss basics of SAN switch. SAN switch is a vital hardware component of the Storage Area Network. If you are a storage admin then you must gain knowledge on various SAN switches.

Basics Of SAN Switch
Basics Of SAN Switch

Basics of SAN Switch What Is SAN Switch?

SAN Switch is an important hardware component fo SAN storage. SAN switch consists of FC Ports that physically connects a Host and Storage devices through FC cables.

A Group of SAN switch is called Fabric. The Storage Area Network has two fabric for redundancy. Popular vendors for SAN switch are Brocade and Cisco.

Types Of FC Ports In SAN Network


F_Port is known as a fabric port. You can set up an FC port as an F port. This port always connects to N_Port via fiber cable.


N Port is also called a node port which represents a storage port or host port. N_Port is always connected to the port that is configured as N Port.


E port is an expansion port. We can use this port to connect one switch to another switch. This type of connectivity between two switches is also called Inter-Switch Link (ISL).


This is a generic port that can operate as either an E_Port or a F_Port. It means if the end port is an F port then G Port will act as N Port. Similarly, if the end port is an E port then it will act as E Port.

The architecture of SAN Network

The below diagram shows a simple architecture of the Storage Area Network. This picture also shows the various types of FC ports that we have discussed in the previous section.

What is F Port, N Port and E Port
What is F Port, N Port, and E Port

Complex Architecture of SAN Network.

The below diagram shows the complex connectivity of the SAN switch in a SAN network. This diagram has multiple hosts and redundant fabrics. Additionally, it has multiple storage and host connected to the SAN switch.

SAN Storage Architecture With SAN Switch
SAN Storage Architecture With SAN Switch

If the above diagramme confuses you then watch the below YouTube video for more clarity. This video explains the basics of SAN switch in a simpler way.

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