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SAN Switch Zoning

SAN switch

Brocade SAN switch

Trouble shooting and Tips

Problem statement

SAN switch zoning and implementation


Zoning the SAN

What is zoning?

Zoning is a mechanism for controlled segmentation of a Fibre Channel fabric. Zoning introduces a degree of flexibility into a fabric to meet the needs of the user group objectives Zoning can be used as a security feature.

Types of zoning Hard zoning is defined as "a zone that is enforced by the fabric, often as a hardware function. The fabric will forward frames among zone members within a hard zone. However, the fabric prohibits frames from being forwarded to members not within a hard zone. Typically, switch ports define a hard zone. Soft zoning "consists of zone members who are made visible to each other through client service requests. Typically, soft zones contain zone members that are visible to devices via the name server exposure of zone members. The fabric does not enforce a soft zone." WWN define soft zone.

Why implement zoning? Adds the ability to partition the SAN into logical groupings of devices. Simplifies a heterogeneous environment within the same switched fabric. Implements information access security. Can enhance performance.

What can happen without zoning? Data corruption and loss Performance impacts Devices not able to connect to the proper resources

Zoning the SAN Depending on the method of port designation within a zone, the enforcement of zoning restrictions can be implemented at various points. Zone enforcement is referred to as either hard zoning (switch port number) or soft zoning (using WWN). A device or port can be in multiple zones Hard zoning prevents access by unauthorized members, typically implemented within switch hardware. The primary method is to define a set of switch ports into a zone. Hard zoning usually allows for node and/or node port replacement without the need for zone changes Soft zoning is a restriction of information to the requesting node port from the domain name server, and is also based on the assumption that a device's node port is well-behaved. Soft zoning would use WWN, where the connection to the device can be moved within the fabric from port to port.

Zone configurations can be defined with a mix of both hard and soft zoning, but normally not suggested.

Zoning the SAN Best Practices Zone devices with similar operating systems together, such as a zone for Windows 2000, another for AIX, etc. Zone devices with HBAs by the same manufacturer together. For example, Windows servers with a mixture of HBAs by Emulex and QLogic would be in 2 zones. Use numerous, smaller zone sets in a configuration instead of fewer, large zone sets. Individual zones for specific applications by server and storage resource(s) Individual zones for servers in a cluster and their storage resource(s)

IMPLEMENTING ZONING # alicreate alias, WWN # alicreate alias, WWN # zonecreate zonename, HBA_alias; storageport_alias # cfgadd Config_name, zone_name # cfgsave # cfgenable Config_name ==================================================== == * To get cfg_name # switchshow | more * zoning = ON ( cfg_name) * To get zone_name # zoneshow alias_name * make sure with both server_hba & storage_port aliases ==================================================== ===