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New Member

Zoning best practices.

Hi All,

I would appreciate some advice on zoning best practices.

Old configuration is four Qlogic switches with only one zone in one zoneset of each switch. Each switch has three host HBA's and 10 storage ports in the one zone. This slightly confuses the host which is a SunFire 6900. Each controller on the host sees the other two HBA's from the switch. I don't think that is a good idea but it is too much trouble to change it now.

New configuration. I have 8 fibre channel ports on my host (4 dual port HBA's) and 8 dedicated ports on my HDS front end director. I have two 9509 switches. I am creating a dedicated VSAN to connect the host and storage on each switch. Depending on performance I might expand the number of HBA's and HDS ports.

Does anyone have a comment on what zoning should be done with the new switches? I have heard that multiple HBA's should not be in the same zone just incase one of them starts having problems. Basically I want to make sure the new solution follows best practice methods.

My instructor for the MDS9000 course said to put each HBA into its own zone and all the storage ports into another zone and then use the zoneset to allow all to communicate. Is that possible? I have never fully understood the concept of how zonesets and zones communicate internally. I read somewhere that you can only ever have one active zoneset in each fabric.

Comments would be most welcome.



Cisco Employee

Re: Zoning best practices.

Yes, only one zoneset can be active in a vsan at a time. You can have multiple zonesets configured but only one active at a time. Members go into zones, Zones go into zonesets and once zoneset active per vsan.

So, a best practice by virtue that this is the way that most OSM's recommend things with a SINGLE initiator. This means that for each HBA, you would zone that HBA port with it's storage. If a HBA has multiple interfaces, then each port would get it's own zoneset.

New Member

Re: Zoning best practices.

Thanks for your great response.

The last bit of your reply is a bit confusing to me. If only one zoneset can be active, then how can I put each port into its own zoneset? Did you mean zone?

While waiting for my HDS to get configured, I had a bit of fun today with one VSAN with one zoneset, four zones (for each HBA port) and in two of the zones, I put in a port of another storage array. The host was quite happy seeing the two zones with the storage ports but could not see the other two zones with only a HBA in them. I expected as much. I suppose I could share the two ports from the array with the other two zones to force the host to see the four zones with storage.

The end result will be quite different as I will have a storage port and a HBA port in each of the zones.



New Member

Re: Zoning best practices.

With 8 FC ports on the host and 8 FC ports on the Array I would consider placing 4 host ports and 4 array ports in a different VSAN from the other 4 host ports and 4 array ports. Just another level of High availability you have with MDS switches.

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