A Fibre Channel network consists of the following components:
- Storage system – a set of physical hard disks (also called a disk array) and one or more intelligent controllers. Storage system support the creation of LUNs.
- LUN (Logical Unit Number) – a number used to identify a device (logical unit) addressed by the FC protocol.
- SP (Storage Processor) – partitions a JBOD (Just a bunch of disks) or RAID set into one or more LUNs. It can restrict access of a particular LUN to one or more server connections.
- HBA – a device that connects the ESXi host to the FC network. A minimum of two HBA adapters are used for fault-tolerant configurations. Virtual machines see standard SCSI connections and are not aware of the underlying FC SAN being accessed.
- Fibre Channel switch – a device similar to an Ethernet switch, but compatible with the Fibre Channel (FC) protocol. Used to interconnect FC nodes.
The following picture illustrates a typical FC network (source: VMware):