Fibre Channel Glossary

American National Standards Institute, the coordinating organization for voluntary standards in the United States

Arbitrated Loop Topology
a Fibre Channel topology that provides a (FC-AL) solution to attach multiple communicating ports in a loop

the process of selecting one respondent from a collection of several candidates that request service concurrently

Asynchronous Transmission Mode (ATM)
a type of packet that transmits fixed length unit of data

sending a transmission to all N_Ports on a fabric

a point-to-point link, the main task being transporting data from one point to another

a computer module that interprets signals between a host and a peripheral device.

CRC (cyclic redundancy check)
an error correcting code used in Fibre Channel

an expansion port on a switch. It is used to link multiple switches together into a Fibre Channel Fabric.

Enterprise Systems connection

a group of interconnections between ports that include a fabric element

a port in the fabric where an N_port or NL_port may attach

Fibre Channel Protocol

a port in fabric where an Nport or an NL_Port may attach

Fibre Channel
up to 2 Gigabit per second data transfer interface technology that maps several common transport protocols including IP and SCSI, allowing it to merge high-speed I/O and network functionality in a single connectivity technology

Full duplex
a communication protocol that permits simultaneous transmissions in both directions, usually with flow control.

generic switch port that can be either F_port or an E_port. Port fucntion is automatically determined during login

Gigabit Interface converter, these devices can be obtained in copper DB9, HSSDC and Fibre Optic type connection. GBICS are hot swappable allowing re-configuration to take place on a live system with no down time

HBA (host bus adapter)
this is the card that fits into the server workstation to provide the interface between the processor and Fibre Channel connection (loop, fabric)

HIPPI (High Performance Parallel Interface)
an ANSI standard for high speed transfer of information in a dual simplex manner over a short parallel bus

HSSDC-style Connector
high speed serial direct connect. Copper connector used on both 1-Gb and 2-Gb Fibre Channel devices.


IP (Internet Protocol)
a set of protocols developed by Department of Defense to communicate between dissimilar computers across networks

IPI (Intelligent Peripheral Interface)
an ANSI standard for controlling peripheral devices by a host computer

an arbitrated loop port

Local Area Network

LC-style Connector
Compact optical connector used primarily with 2-Gb Fibre Channel devices. This connector can be fixed or pluggable.

a port attached to a node for use with point to point or fabric topology

a port attached to a node for use in all three FC topologies

a device that has at least one N_Port or NL_Port

a topology where two points communicate

an access point in a device where a link attaches

RAID Array (Redundant Array of Independent Disks)
intelligent devices that are seen by Fibre Channel as a single device regardless of how many drives are in the array

SAN (Storage Area Network)
a dedicated, high-speed network that establishes a direct connection between storage elements and servers.

enabling devices for large fabrics. Can be connected together to allow scalability to thousands of nodes

ULP (Upper Layer Protocols)
different communication protocols that can be carried by Fibre Channel

a logical separation of traffic between host and resources. By breaking up into zones, processing activity is distributed evenly