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Community Member

Move VSAN from one switch to another


I took this over so its not my design...

I have two Directors connected via two ISL's. There are two VSAN's across the two Directors that supposedly offers two "virtual" fabrics. One switch is at the primary data centre and the other is at the DR data centre and they are connected via a CWDM link for each VSAN.

I don't like the idea of the one Director for the primary data centre so I purchased a new Director. I want to move one VSAN from the old Director to the new Director but still keep both VSANs on the DR director is its rarely used and its not as mission critical as the other site... unless the other site explodes..

So, how do I move the VSAN to the new switch? I can't see any way of copying a VSAN to another switch not in the VSAN.

The DR Director is currently the principal switch for the VSAN. I don't have the ability to connect the DR switch to the old switch and the new swtich at the same time as there is only one ISL per VSAN. If I disconnected the old switch from the DR switch and then ISL'ed the new (completely unconfigured except for the VSAN name) to the DR switch, that should populate the active zoneset on the DR switch to the new switch.

Would that work? If not, whats the best way of doing it and keeping the work and time down to a minimum? I expect I could get the output of the VSAN from the switch and just script it up but there has to be a simple way right?

I still need to move the physical fc cables ofcourse but everything is dual pathed so I should be able to do it on the fly. If not, its a good way to find any problems as it will be during a Change window.


Cisco Employee

Re: Move VSAN from one switch to another

Hello Stephen,

When you propose, would work to get the zoning information copied over to the new switch.

You must be careful though. Points to consider.

- Are you zoning by PWWN, if so this will work.

- Do you have any AIX or HP-UX hosts in the VSAN? If so, we must be careful to ensure that they and their target devices maintain the same FCID (some versions of these OS can not gracefully handle an FCID change).

You could always do the manual steps.

- Create the VSAN

- Assign the same domain ID

Open 2 side by side CLIs and copy over

- Device-alias

- FCaliases

- FCID to PWWN mapping (AIX and HP-UX only)

Then on the original switch, you need to make sure that the running config contains all the current zoning information.

Issue this command to be sure

'zone copy active-zoneset full-zoneset vsan x'

Now you can manually copy the zoning portion of the running config from the original to the new switch.

Once completed, issue 'copy run start' on the new MDS, and then move the cables.

Hope this helps,


Community Member

Re: Move VSAN from one switch to another

Hi Mike,

All the zoning had been done by PWWN.

No AIX or HP-UX hosts.

I never thought about the same Domain ID.

I don't fully understand what you mean by:

Open 2 side by side CLIs and copy over

- Device-alias

- FCaliases

What exactly is a Device-alias?

Wouldn't the FC Aliases be copied across as part of the VSAN info?

When you say manually copy the zoning portion, is that by means of distributing the VSAN from the Principal switch to the new switch?

I don't think this is too hard but I just wanted to make sure I didn't do something silly.


Cisco Employee

Re: Move VSAN from one switch to another

What I was referring to by 2 CLIs is that you can open a telnet to the new switch, and a second telnet to the old switch. On the new switch, enter config mode. Then on the original switch issue a show run, and then use the cut/paste to manually move the config from the old to the new switch. Since you don't have any HP-UX or AIX you need not worry to much about the FCID assignment. Windows, Solaris, and Linux can deal with a change with out much heartburn.

Yes, if you have the old switch set to distribute the 'full zoneset' then the FCalias would be copied over as part of the zoneset merge.

FCalias is used for zoning only.

FCalias can contain multiple PWWNs

FCalias is configured per VSAN

FCalias is propagated via distributing the full zoneset.

Device alias is 1 PWWN

Device alias can be use for multiple functions like port security, IVR, and zoning.

Device alias is not VSAN specific

Device alias is distributed via CFS (Cisco Fabric Service)

Best Practice is to use Device Alias if the fabric is made up only Cisco MDS.

Hope this helps,


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