Brocade SAN Switch Interview Questions

Brocade SAN switch is an important topic in a Storage Admin interview. You may not get many, but you can expect five to ten Brocade SAN switch interview questions.

In this post, I have covered common and most asked Brocade SAN switch interview questions with answers.

Read the post on non technical interview questions for a storage admin.

Brocade SAN Switch Interview Questions Theory

What is a Fabric?

Fabric is a group of SAN switches in a storage area network that are connected to each other.

What is the Principal switch?

The principal switch is also called a core switch which assigns domain ID to the devices that connect to it. The principal switch is also responsible for syncing time among all switches in a Fabric.

What is RSCN and how to do a RSCN?

RSCN stands for Registered State Change Notification. RSCN is a process of sending a notification frame to all devices when a change happens in a fabric.

Below are a few scenarios when an RSCN can take place.

When a new device adds to the fabric.
When a device is removed from the fabric.
A zone has changed.
A switch name has changed or an IP address has changed.
Nodes leaving or joining the fabric, such as zoning, powering on or shutting down a device, or zoning changes

What Is CP in Brocade SAN Switch?

CP stands for the control processor. These are the main controller of a Brocade SAN Switch which is located in CP blades. There are two CPs in a SAN switch CP0 and CP1. The two CPs maintain redundancy, when the active CP is down, the standby CP takes over.

What Is Buffer Credits?

Buffer to buffer credits affects performance. Each port in SAN switch has buffer credits and these credits represents the ability to accepts frames. If a recipient port does not have enough credits, then the sender port does not sends any frame, which leads to performance issue.

What is Trunking in Brocade SAN Switch?

Trunking is a process of grouping of more than one physical ports to a single logical links. In Brocade trunking, multiple physical ports acts as a single logical link, that provides better bandwidth and load balancing features.

Brocade SAN switch support ISL, ICL, EX and F port trunking.

What is trunking in Cisco SAN switch.

What is Access Gateway (AG) in Brocade?

Access gateway in Brocade SAN switches is fabric OS features that help in expanding fabrics without adding additional domain IDs.

A switch in AG mode is transparent to host and fabric and does not assign FCID to the devices that are connected to it. All devices connected to the Access gateway switches get an FCID from the uplink switch.

Below diagram show how an Access Gateway Switch works in Brocade.

Access Gateway In Brocade SAN Switch
Access Gateway In Brocade SAN Switch

What Is Virtual Fabric In Brocade?

Virtual fabric is Brocade SAN switch features, that helps virtualize the physical layer into logical fabrics by creating logical switches and Fabric IDs.

You can create logical switches and assign physical ports to them. Each logical switches has a unique fabric ID. Multiple logical switches having the same fabric ID create a logical fabric.

In a virtual fabric, a physical port can only communicate with another physical port, if their respective logical switches have the same fabric ID.

A physical port, part of a logical switch cannot communicate with another port which belongs to another logical switch having different Fabric ID.

What Is Virtual Fabric and Logical Switch In Brocade SAN Switch
What Is Virtual Fabric and Logical Switch In Brocade SAN Switch

You can compare virtual fabric to VSAN in Cisco and Fabric ID to VSAN number.

What Is LSAN Zoning In Brocade?

LSAN Zoning allows communication between two zones, which exists in two different fabric, without merging the fabrics.

Commands To Know Brocade SAN Switch Interview Questions

What is the command to check host connectivity in Brocade Switch?

nodefind <WWPN Number>

What is the command graceful shutdown of Brocade Switch?

sysShutdown

How to enable and disable a port in Brocade SAN Switch?

portenable 2/4 where 2 is slot number and 4 is the port number.
portdisable 2/4 where 2 is slot number and 4 is the port number.

How to set port speed in Brocade SAN Switch?

switch:admin> portcfgspeed 2/3 16
The above command sets the port speed to 16GB, where 2 is the slot number and 3 is the port number.

To set the same speed in all ports use the below command.
switch:admin> switchcfgspeed 8
The above command sets the port speed to 8gb for all ports in the switch.

What are the commands for Brocade Zoning?

alicreate “storage_hba1″,”21:00:31:41:21:61:2b:0c”
alicreate “server_hba1″,”50:00:54:34:45:22:23:45”
zonecreate “server_hba1-storage_hba1″,”server_hba1;storage_hba1”
cfgadd “activecfg”,”server_hba1-storage_hba1″
cfgsave
cfgenable “activecfg”

Check out post on detailed explanation of Brocade Zoning.

Commands to ping a WWPN?

fcPing

What is the command to check error logs in Brocade SAN switch?

errShow

Which command shows to overall connectivity details of the SAN switch?

switchshow

How to check high availability or HA details in Brocade SAN switch?

haShow

How to failover from active CP to Standby CP?

haFailover

How to check port error in Brocade SAN switch?

porterrshow

How to clear historical port errors in Brocade?

statsclear
slotstatsclear

What is the Command to check the power supply status in Brocade SAN switch

psshow

Commands to check ISL switch connectivity in Brocade?

islShow

How to take zone configuration backup from Brocade to external resources?

configUpload

How to download zone configuration from external resources to Brocade?

configDownload

How to check active zone config in Brocade?

cfgactvshow

Commands to check IP address details of Brocade Switch?

ipAddrShow

How to check the name server information of all fabric in Brocade?

nsAllShow

How to check the name server information of a particular switch in Brocade?

nsshow

How to reboot a switch?

reboot

How to check SFP details of port?

sfpshow 1/2

How to save support logs in remote FTP or SCP server?

supportsave

How to display support logs in Brocade?

supportshow

How to check the uptime of a SAN switch?

switchuptime

How to check the current firmware version in Brocade SAN Switch?

firmwareshow

Conclusion

Let me know in the comment section if any other question should be added to the list.

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