ZoneMerge Failure with zoning modes not matched????

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Sep 18th, 2009
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I am having a problem merging a third switch into a VSAN with Enhanced Zoning enabled. I am getting this error "2009 Sep 8 22:01:38 SAN-Blade17-SwA %ZONE-2-ZS_MERGE_FAILED: %$VSAN 2%$ Zone me

rge failure, isolating interface port-channel 17 received reason: Zoning modes d

oes not match Received rjt from adjacent switch:[reason:0]" I am unable to find the recovery of this error in the troubleshooting guide. I have tried to follow the normal steps to recover an isolated switch but nothing is working

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Michael Brown Fri, 09/18/2009 - 06:34
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Have you verified that the zoning mode is the same on both ends of the ISL link? Zoning mode can be basic or enhanced. If they are the same, then I would check what the default zone policy is on both ends. It can be permit or deny.

Issue the command 'show zone status vsan 2' on each end to see the current configuration of the zone settings.

Hope this helps,


oreillygavin Fri, 09/18/2009 - 09:07
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Hi Mike

The default zoone policy is "permit" on both switches. I have already seen that from the manuals. I have also read in the manual that Enhanced Zoning should only ever be enabled on one switch in the VSAN.

I have tried to set the zoning mode to be Enhanced on the new switch that I am trying to add to the fabric, this gives an message that the local zoneset on the new switch which is empty will overwrite the active zoneset for the VSAN which is not what I want to happen. Now it might be that it will not and the message is misleading but as I have such a large fabric with an FC/IP tunnel I don't want to risk overwriting the active zoneset.

When I use the Zone Merger Analysis tool is says the merge will be successful but when I bring up the ISL the port channel goes to an isolated state and trying to recover by importing the active config is not working.

I would be confident that the zone merge would work if the VSAN was in Basic mode but I don't want to have to convert back to basic zoning as it's not recommended in the manuals.

oreillygavin Fri, 09/18/2009 - 09:13
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Hi Mike

I found this in the troubleshooting guide.

Do you know should the "Device Alias" feature be set to Enhanced if Enhanced Zoning is being used?

Resolving Mode Mismatch

The device alias feature can operate in either basic or enhanced mode. If the modes are different in the two fabrics, the CFS merge between those fabrics will fail. To verify that the device alias mode is different in the two fabrics, follow these steps:

Step 1 Review the CFS or device alias merge failure syslogs to confirm that the merge failed, or issue the show

cfs merge status name device-alias command to view the status of the merge.

Step 2 Verify that the reason for the merge failure is a mode mismatch by using the show device-alias merge

status command. The reason is either “Databases could not be merged due to mode mismatch” or “One of the merging fabrics cannot support device-alias enhanced mode.”

switch-1# show device-alias merge status

Result: Failure

Reason: Databases could not be merged due to mode mismatch.

Michael Brown Fri, 09/18/2009 - 10:01
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As far as I know, device alias and zoning modes are independent of each other.

The manual is correct, if you have a fabric of switches, then you need only set 1 switch in the vsan to enhanced mode zoning. That will signal all the switches in the vsan to go to enhanced mode zoning. If the merge control is set to 'allow' the same rules apply as in basic mode. If merge control is set to 'restrict' then before the ISL will come up, the zoneset on each end must match exactly. This means that there is no merge allowed...since both sides must match.

My recommendation is to shut down the ISL, and then set the zoning mode to enhanced on the new switch. Since it is the only switch in the fabric, you can ignore the warning about the zoneset being sent to other switches. Once the mode is set to enhanced, then bring up the ISL to the fabric that is running enhanced mode zoning...and the merge should result in the new switch receiving the zoneset from the fabric.

- Mike

kristjan.hugoss... Mon, 11/02/2009 - 15:31
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Did you ever find a solution to your problem? Because I have the same problem now.

oreillygavin Tue, 11/03/2009 - 02:16
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My customer has yet to allow me the change window to try the solution advised in this post.

I did however find another possible solution with uncommitted changes pending to the configuration that need to be either committed or removed before trying the merge.

I will inform you if I get a chance to try the merge of the new switch that is not enhanced. Has you looked in the logs to see the exact error you get for the merge failure? As in the troubleshooting guide there is a whole section on merge failures with a list of common event logs messages and the resolutions

oreillygavin Wed, 12/02/2009 - 14:33
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Did you ever find a resolution to this problem? I am still unable to get this resolved.

chriswalden Fri, 12/04/2009 - 09:24
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Let me see if I understand the issue.  You have an existing VSAN on a set of switches and that existing configuration is using enhanced mode zoning, correct?  The issue is that you want to extend that VSAN onto an additional switch, and the zone merge is failing.

When you created the new VSAN on the desired switch, the default zoning mode is basic and that's why it won't merge.

You can either disable the ISL (if it's not being used for other VSANs) or just prune the allowed VSAN list to make sure that this VSAN is isolated.  Then, just to verify, check "show fcs ie vsan xx" where xx is this VSAN you're trying to extend.  You should only see one IE in the VSAN.  This helps double-check that you're about to make changes only on the desired switch.

If you do a 'show zone status vsan xx', you should see that the zoning database is empty.  Now that this VSAN is isolated and there is no zoning, you can proceed with the "zone mode enh vsan xx".  Because this VSAN is isolated (given the above conditions), you can proceed to set the zoning mode.

Now if you do a "sh zone status vsan xx", you should see that it has been changed to enhanced mode.  At this point, you can re-enable the ISL and the zone merge should succeed.

There is some good documentation in the config guides on how to troubleshoot and recover from zone merge failures.  You do want to take a great deal of care that you don't wipe out the existing network.

oreillygavin Fri, 12/04/2009 - 14:53
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Hi Chris

Thanks for your reply. I have been over all the zone merge failure type in the troubleshooting guide but there is noting on how to recover from a zone mode mismatch error. I am aware that the modes are different between Enhanced and basic zoning modes on the existing Director switch and the new BladeCentre Edge switch

I am very worried that the new switch that I am trying to merge into the fabirc will overwrite it's empty zone database to the active config on the Director switch that is enabled for enhanced zoing already. If I am understanding the documentation correctly the merge will perform a merge of both databases and not an overwrite based on the zoneset merge rules.

Do I need to create an empty ZoneSet of the same name on the new switch to allow the enabling of the enhanced zoning mode? or do I just create the VSAN and leave the zoning database blank?

chriswalden Mon, 12/07/2009 - 17:33
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Just create the VSAN and leave the zoning database blank, set the zoning mode and enable the ISL, you'll be all set!


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