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Disk I/O Tuning

Chapter 2: Fibre Channel


Ports provide the link to the outside world for a Fibre Channel node. As stated above, each node has at least one port (usually 2) to provide access to other nodes. Most manufacturers' Fibre Channel drives have two ports. Each port utilizes a pair of fibers, one to carry information into the port and one to carry information out of the port. This pair of fibers (sometimes they are actually copper wire) is called a “link” and is part of each topology. The Fibre Channel ANSI specification also supports fibers made of optical strands as a medium for data transfer.

As stated above, ports used in a FC-AL topology are called node loop ports (NL_Ports). In addition to NL_Ports, other port types exist as shown in table 2-2.

Port type


Associated topology

N_Port Node Point-to-point or Fabric
NL_Port Node in N_Port mode—Point-to-point or Fabric, in NL_Port mode—Arbitrated Loop
F_Port Fabric  Fabric
FL_Port Fabric in F_Port mode—Fabric, in FL_Port mode—Arbitrated Loop
E_Port Fabric Internal Fabric Expansion
G_Port Fabric in F_Port mode—Fabric, in E_Port mode—Internal fabric expansion
GL_Port Fabric in F_Port mode—Fabric, in FL_Port mode—Arbitrated Loop' in E_Port mode—Internal fabric expansion

Table 2-2: Fibre Channel Port Types

The above text is an excerpt from:

Oracle Disk I/O Tuning
Disk IO Performance & Optimization for Oracle Databases



by Mike Ault

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