How to replace a Brocade SAN switch

      5 Comments on How to replace a Brocade SAN switch

I have been busy last sunday with the replacement of a Brocade switch, to be specific an HP branded 4/24 in a c7000 blade enclosure. After searching both the HP and Brocade website I haven’t found any clear documentation about replace a switch in a fabric.

So I just decided to try something out to see of my ideas were correct about how to replace a switch. The procedure I came up with and which seems to work is the following:

  • Make sure your replacement switch has the same licenses as the original switch. If not, contact Brocade or the OEM vendor, in my case HP, for a license move of your licenses to the replacement switch
  • Do not connect your replacement switch to the fabric yet, but connect it to your network and, if neeeded, give an IP-address.
  • Be sure to have a saved configuration of the original switch ready. Regularly schedule a backup with ‘configupload’ to save it.
  • Know the firmware version of the switch which is to be replaced and make sure your replacement switch has the exact same firmware version.
  • Change the default passwords of the replacement switch
  • Disable your switch with ‘switchdisable’. The reason for this is that it needs to be disabled to do the next step.
  • ‘configdownload’ the configuration of the original switch to your replacement switch and reboot the replacement switch
  • In my case the ‘configdownload’ didn’t apply the switchname and DNS settings in the configuration to the replacement switch so I configured these two.
  • Verify the configuration in the replacement switch, check the settings. Most importantly the configuration setting e.g. domain id
  • Clear the complete zoning configuration with ‘cfgdisable’, ‘cfgclear’ and ‘cfgsave’. Verify this step 🙂 !
  • Now it’s time to connect it to the fabric and to your hosts and storage array’s
  • Voilá, everything should be okay now

This list seemed to be okay for the situation I replaced the switch in. It consisted in total of 10 switches and one HP MPX200 router.
Please leave comments if this didn’t work out for you or if you think I forgot some steps…

5 thoughts on “How to replace a Brocade SAN switch

  1. Alok

    few more things to consider portnames, defzone, fabricprincipal, portcfgspeed, DNS, switchname, virtual fabric, fiber connection labels 🙂

  2. Martien Korenblom Post author

    The principal switch is the one you set with ‘fabricprincipal’, or the ‘biggest’ switch if not set.
    If you only have one switch in the fabric it is always the principal switch.
    If your replacement switch was the principal switch and died on you, then another switch in the fabric will be elected principal.


  3. Martien Korenblom Post author

    You are indeed ditching you zoning config. The replacement switch (in this case) has to have it’s zoning data removed as it get it’s zoning config from the principal switch in the fabric.
    If there would be an enabled zoning config running on the replacement switch, you would get a segment fabric when connecting the replacement switch to your existing fabric.

    If your replacement switch is a single switch in the fabric you do not have to remove your zoning config though :).

  4. Cyrus

    Aren’t you ditching your zoning data with “‘cfgdisable’, ‘cfgclear’ and ‘cfgsave’” ?

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