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HowTo: Install a Fibre Switch (Brocade) in 12 to 15 steps.

Instructions to install a Brocade switch (in our days most of SAN fibre switches are Brocade: IBM, EMC, DELL, FUJITSU, HP, HITACHI, NETAPP, SUN, and ORACLE use OEMized Brocade Switches, and Brocade also sells switches directly, other manufacturers of fibre switches are QLogic and CISCO).

We assume that you have unboxed the switch, put in the rails, mounted it on the rack, populated the FC ports with the SFPs that came in the box, and put the cable or cables and switched it on.

To do the Initial configuration of the switch, We will need the following:

  • A laptop with windows, where we will install the EzSwitchSetup software that comes in a CD with the switch.
  • An Ethernet (normal – no crossover needed) cable to plug directly to the switch on the Management port (We can also use the Serial cable that comes included with some switches, but it’s a lot easier with a CAT5 cable).
  • And now to sit down for a minute and think: prepare/collect the following information to use on the initial switch config:

MAC WWN: _____________________
Hostname: _____________________
IP: _____________________
Mask: _____________________
Gateway: _____________________
NTP Server: _____________________
root passwd: _____________________
factory passwd: _____________________
admin passwd: _____________________
user passwd: _____________________

Once we have this details and prerequisites, we can carry on with the initial config:

SAN_SW1

1.- We get our laptop and connect it directly to the ethernet management port of our first switch.

2.- Start EzSwitchSetup software

3.- Select the first part of the switch’s MAC address from the drop down list

4.- Complete the MAC address withthe last 3 bytes of our model (it will be printed on a sticker on the switch, or on a plastic tongue on the front left side).

5.- Once our switch is identified, we can proceed to change it’s IP address (the switch will show as default values):

IP: 10.77.77.77
MASK: 255.255.255.0
GTW: 0.0.0.0
IP6:

6.- Once the switch has been successfully changed to it’s final IP, we will unplug our laptop, and connect the switch to it`s final network connection.

7.- Now connect remotely to the switch as admin, and when presented with the message:

Please change passwords for switch default accounts now.
Use Control-C to exit or press 'Enter' key to proceed.

Warning: Access to the Root and Factory accounts may be required for
proper support of the switch. Please ensure the Root and Factory
passwords are documented in a secure location. Recovery of a lost Root
or Factory password will result in fabric downtime.

for user - root
Changing password for root
Enter new password:
Re-type new password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully
Please change passwords for switch default accounts now.
for user - factory
Changing password for factory
Enter new password:
Re-type new password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully
Please change passwords for switch default accounts now.
for user - admin
Changing password for admin
Enter new password:
Re-type new password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully
Please change passwords for switch default accounts now.
for user - user
Changing password for user
Enter new password:
Re-type new password:
passwd: all authentication tokens updated successfully
Saving passwords to stable storage.
Passwords saved to stable storage successfully

8.- Change the default 10 minute timeout value to 60 minutes:

timeout 60

9.- Configure our switch hostname with the command:

switchname $HOSTNAME

10.- Configure the timezone:

tstimezone --interactive

11.- Configure the time and the NTP server:

date "0213101215"
Fri Feb 13 10:12:59 CET 2015

Note: Date and time are specified as a string in the format: “mmddhhmmyy” (month day hour minutes year).

tsClockServer "$NTP_IP"
Updating Clock Server configuration...done.
Updated with the NTP servers

12.- Wait 5 minutes and verify the time has adjusted accordingly:

date
Fri Feb 13 10:12:59 CET 2015

13- Reboot (Note: this step is not really needed, I do it to verify the boot process and that settings are applied correctly):

reboot

14.- Extra step: If you want to be thorough, you can Check the SFPs are correct with the provided FC Loopback.

For that you need to plug a loopback in a SFP port and issue the command:

switchshow

You can change the loopback to another port and issue switchshow again, until we have tried all the SFPs. As usually you will setup switches in pairs, you will have 2 loopbacks, wich makes the check quicker.

15.- As a Final Check, issue the command:

switchstatusshow

and verify that all the hardware sensors and that the switchstate are all in HEALTHY status, and none of them are in MARGINAL.

 

And that’s it, the switch is now configured, and ready to plug the fibres to the SAN and the Servers, then the zoning will be needed, and maybe extend the fabric to another switch… but that’s material for another post… Thanx for reading!