Stage IX: FibreChannel for all

I completed the project Stage VIII: Two Different Datacenters a few weeks ago.


Workstation Upgrade:

I am running Windows 8.1 using BootCamp onto my 27″ iMac in conjunction with a 27″ Thunderbolt Display.

I decided to upgrade my workstation iMac with 10GbE and FibreChannel….




Once again I used the same Sonnet Thunderbolt PCIe Expansion like in Stage IV. I got two Expansions for my workstation. The iMac has two Thunderbolt ports available, the first one is used by a Sonnect Echo Express Expansion in a daisy-chain with a 256GB Thunderbolt Lacie SSD. I installed a FusionIO 640GB Duo Flash Drive and an Brocade 1020 10GbE CNA inside this Expansion.

The second port is connected to the Thunderbolt Display and then using again a daisy-chain with the second Thunderbolt Expansion. I installed a QLogic 4Gbit FibreChannel Adapter inside the second Expansion unit.


I have added the second FusionIO 640GB Duo Flash Drive from my Nexenta Storage inside the second expansion unit, too.




I got a 10GbE ethernet connection at my workstation, 2 FusionIO flash cards and FibreChannel. Should be enough for today..

MacBook Upgrade:

After using FibreChannel from my workstation, I searched for a solution to use it for my MacBooks too. I found it at Promise: The SAN-Link is a Thunderbolt to 4Gbit FibreChannel Interface:






Very cool…. I can use a FibreChannel LUN to Backup my two MacBooks (11″ Air and 15″ Pro) with TimeMachine. 400MB/s Backups are really nice. The WWN is bound to the Adapter, so when I plug in the adapter into my MacBooks the same LUN is mounted into OS X. TimeMachine will create two different Datasets for Backup on the same LUN.

Central Storage Upgrade:

After using FibreChannel for all of my devices at home, I am running out of capacity after a short perid of time…..

I upgraded my custom build central storage with another 4 x 1TB hard disks and replaced the chassis with a bigger one.




SAN Switch Upgrade:

After attaching all my devices via FibreChannel my Brocade SAN switch had no more available ports. Only 8 ports of my 16 port switch are licensed. I searched for a license upgrade, but I can´t get one for a good price. One of my colleagues had an EMC labeled Brocade switch, which he did not use anymore….

So I upgraded the firmware of the EMC labeled Brocade 200E and I got a 16 port FibreChannel 4Gbit SAN switch for my HomeLab. Should be enough ports for a “small” HomeLab.




This is Stage IX: FibreChannel for all




After finishing these projects at home, I already had new ideas in mind. Read the next Stage X: HomeLab Expansion.