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N_Port ID Virtualization or NPIV is a Fibre Channel facility allowing multiple N_Port IDs to share a single physical N_Port. This allows multiple Fibre Channel initiators to occupy a single physical port, easing hardware requirements in Storage Area Network design, especially where virtual SANs are called for. NPIV is defined by the Technical Committee T11 in the Fibre Channel - Link Services (FC-LS) specification.
Normally N_Port initialization proceeds like this:
However with NPIV it may continue like this:
FDISC is abbreviation of "Discover Fabric Service Parameters", which is a misleading name in this context. It works just like FLOGI.