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The significance is that if a loop device, for example an older tape drive, is attached and powered on, a fabric port can automatically sense and change to loop mode. Likewise, if a loop device were removed and a fabric enabled device were plugged into the port, the Brocade switch can automatically sense and change it to fabric port.
If your ports are changing randomly and independently of any devices being added, removed, powered up, or during backups, check with your solution provider or the Brocade tech support Web site to see if you need to adjust some settings or firmware.
This was first published in March 2007