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HP Virtual Connect SAN Module - Connectivity Issues on 8Gb Port Speed


The HP Virtual Connect SAN Module 20 port 8Gb might exhibit some connectivity issue when connected to certain Brocade 8Gb capable SAN switches.

The issue is not seen on the Brocade switches if the port speed is fixed to 4Gb. The issue starts to expose itself when the port is set to 8Gb under Fabric Operating System (FOS) versions: v6.3.1 or v6.4.x.

This explicitly happens if the above FOS versions are used and the port setting: portCfgFillWord "option 0" or "mode 0" (idle/idle) is set.


Switch the port setting portCfgFillWord to mode 3.

Or set the switchport to a fixed setting of 4Gb.

Additional information:

The portCfgFillWord command, applicable to 8G-capable ports, has been enhanced with FOS v6.3.1 and v6.4 to provide two new configuration options (Modes 2 and 3). The available settings include:


portCfgFillWord <PortNumber> <Mode>


  • 0/-idle-idle - IDLE in Link Init, IDLE as fill word (default)

  • 1/-arbff-arbff - ARBFF in Link Init, ARBFF as fill word

  • 2/-idle-arbff - IDLE in Link Init, ARBFF as fill word (SW)

  • 3/-aa-then-ia - If ARBFF/ARBFF failed, then do IDLE/ARBFF

Although this setting only affects devices logged in at 8G, changing the mode is disruptive regardless of the speed the port is operating at.

The setting is retained and applied any time an 8G device logs in. Upgrades to FOS v6.3.1 or v6.4 from prior releases supporting only modes 0 and 1 will not change the existing setting.

But switches or ports reset to factory defaults with FOS v6.3.1 or v6.4 will be configured to Mode 0 by default. The default setting on new units may vary by vendor.

Please use portcfgshow CLI to view the current portcfgfillword status for that port.

Modes 2 and 3 are compliant with FC-FS-3 specifications (standards specify the IDLE/ARBF behavior of Mode 2 which is used by Mode 3 if ARBF/ARBF fails after 3 attempts).

For most environments, Brocade recommends using Mode 3, as it provides more flexibility and compatibility with a wide range of devices.

In the event that the default setting or Mode 3 does not work with a particular device, contact your switch vendor for further assistance.

  1. The problem also affects VC FlexFabric modules in addition to VC FC 8Gb 20-port.

  2. A fix was included in VC firmware 3.70 that removes the need to set mode 3.


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8Gb 20-port, Fibre, Channel, Module, c-Class, BladeSystem, HP Virtual Connect 8Gb, 20-port Fibre Channel Module, c-Class BladeSystem, 4GB, 4 GB

Legal Disclaimer: Products sold prior to the November 1, 2015 separation of Hewlett-Packard Company into Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company and HP Inc. may have older product names and model numbers that differ from current models.

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Document title: HP Virtual Connect SAN Module - Connectivity Issues on 8Gb Port Speed
Document ID: emr_na-c02576834-5
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