3.1. FC-AL Characteristics
There are three topologies supported by Fibre Channel: loop, point-to-point, and switched. FC-AL is the loop topology that will be discussed here. The FC-AL is a means by which to connect two or more (up to 126) devices in a serial loop configuration. This solution is considered low cost because it does not use hubs and switches in small to medium configurations. It also provides capability to connect to larger loops and fabrics where hubs and switches are used.
In the FC-AL each port discovers when it has been attached to a loop. Addresses are assigned automatically on initialization. Access to the loop is arbitrated, there are no collisions and there is no single permanent loop master.
FC-AL permits fair access on ...