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Disk I/O Tuning

Chapter 2: Fibre Channel

Arbitrated Loop Topology

Fibre Channel Arbitrated Loops (FC-AL) use a loop structure to attach multiple nodes without the use of hubs and switches. Arbitration is used by the node ports to establish a point-to-point circuit. FC-AL is a distributed topology where each L_Port includes the minimum necessary function to establish the circuit. From two to 126 node ports can be connected using the arbitrated loop topology. Figure 2-5 shows a four-node arbitrated loop setup.

Figure 2-5:

Four-Node Arbitrated Loop Set Up


In an arbitrated loop topology the ports are called NL_Ports (Node Loop Ports). Each of the NL_Ports has an input and output connection. The actual ports are located on the host’s backpanel, not on the disk drive. Dual ports are usually provided for redundancy so that if one loop fails, the other one can fulfill the loop duties. Each disk drive usually has one Fibre Channel single connector attachment (SCA) connector.

The arbitrated loop protocol is known as a token acquisition protocol. This means each port on the same arbitrated loop sees all messages, but only takes messages that are addressed to it, passing along all others.

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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