How to configure zoning in a Brocade FC switch

Posted on 30th March 2020

A Storage Area Network or storage network consists of storage devices, switches and server hosts. Redundancy in a storage network is achieved through a technique called multipathing where you establish multiple physical connections between the storage and the host to avoid any single point of failure.

For a fully redundant SAN network, you need to have multiple HBAs (Host Bus Adapters) in the host server that are connected to two different Storage Processors (SP) via two switches.

The figure below shows a redundant multipath storage network with two servers. The servers have two HBA cards and are connected to two different FC switches for redundancy. The storage device has two Storage Processors and each SP has redundant connections to both FC switches.

FC SAN Multipathing
Figure 1: FC SAN Multipathing

FC Zoning(or just zoning) segregates and partitions a fibre channel fabric to control the access between the connected devices. Zoning defines which host HBAs have access to which SPs thereby isolating and reducing the paths between the host and the LUN.

The recommended configuration for implementing zoning in the fabric shown in Figure 1 is to create two zones in each switch. Each zone will have one host initiator and one LIF from each storage processor. This means you will have two zones in each switch as below.

Switch-1 Zone-1: HBA1, LIF1, LIF3
Switch-1 Zone-2: HBA3, LIF1, LIF3 
Switch-2 Zone-1: HBA2, LIF2, LIF4 
Switch-2 Zone-2: HBA4, LIF2, LIF4 

Creating zones in a Brocade FC switch

Now that you are familiar with zoning, lets look at how to create zones on a Brocade FC switch.

1. Record WWPN

Members of a zone are identified by their World Wide Port Numbers(WWPN). So the first step is to get the WWPN of the HBA ports and LIFs.

You can get this information from switch by running the switchshow command.

FCSwitch1:admin> switchshow
switchName:     FCSwitch1
switchType:     71.2
switchState:    Online
switchMode:     Native
switchRole:     Principal
switchDomain:   1
switchId:       fffc01
switchWwn:      10:00:40:ce:1b:32:f2:e1
zoning:         ON (cfg_switch1_20200210)
switchBeacon:   OFF

Index Port Address Media Speed       State   Proto
==================================================
   0   0   010000   id    N8       Online      FC  F-Port 21:00:00:24:ff:5f:a5:04
   1   1   010100   id    N8       Online      FC  F-Port 21:00:00:25:ff:5f:b5:06
   2   2   010200   id    N8       Online      FC  F-Port  1 N Port + 2 NPIV public
   3   3   010300   id    N8       Online      FC  F-Port  1 N Port + 2 NPIV public
   4   4   010400   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled 
   5   5   010500   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled 
   6   6   010600   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
   7   7   010700   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
   8   8   010800   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
   9   9   010900   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  10  10   010a00   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  11  11   010b00   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  12  12   010c00   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  13  13   010d00   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  14  14   010e00   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  15  15   010f00   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  16  16   011000   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  17  17   011100   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  18  18   011200   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  19  19   011300   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  20  20   011400   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  21  21   011500   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  22  22   011600   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled
  23  23   011700   --    N8       No_Module   FC  (No POD License) Disabled

In the above example you can see the WWPNs of the devices connected on ports 0 and 1. Ports 2 and 3 are online and shows "F-Port 1 N Port + 2 NPIV public" and does not show the WWPN. This means the device connected on these ports use NPIV (N-Port ID virtualization). NetApp ONTAP devices for example use NPIV. To get the WWPN of devices using NPIV, you can use the portshow command.

FCSwitch1:admin> portshow 2
portName: 02
portHealth: HEALTHY
Authentication: None
portDisableReason: None
portCFlags: 0x1
portFlags: 0x24b03 PRESENT ACTIVE F_PORT G_PORT NPIV LOGICAL_ONLINE LOGIN
NOELP LED ACCEPT
portType: 10.0
portState: 1Online
portPhys: 6In_Sync
portScn: 32F_Port
port generation number: 148
portId: 630200
portIfId: 43020005
portWwn: 20:02:00:05:1e:35:37:40
portWwn of device(s) connected:
50:00:65:ff:fb:00:16:fc
50:00:65:ff:fb:00:16:f8
This is a sample output

2. Check Config

The cfgshow command displays the currently effective switch configuration and lists the zones and aliases that are defined.

FCSwitch1:admin> cfgshow

3. Create Aliases

The next step is to create aliases for all members in the zone using the WWPNs recorded in step 2. You can create aliases using alicreate command as below.

FCSwitch1:admin> alicreate "HBA1", "21:00:00:24:ff:5f:a5:04"
FCSwitch1:admin> alicreate "HBA3", "21:00:00:25:ff:5f:b5:06"
FCSwitch1:admin> alicreate "LIF1", "50:00:65:ff:fb:00:16:f8"
FCSwitch1:admin> alicreate "LIF3", "50:00:65:ff:fb:00:18:f6"

4. Create Zone

To create a zone, run the zonecreate command followed by a zone name and alias names separated by a semicolon.

FCSwitch1:admin> zonecreate "ZONE1", "HBA1;LIF1;LIF3"
FCSwitch1:admin> zonecreate "ZONE2", "HBA3"

You can add an alias to an existing zone using the zoneadd command. For example, the following command adds the alias HBA1 to a zone named ZONE1

FCSwitch1:admin> zoneadd "ZONE2", "LIF1"
FCSwitch1:admin> zoneadd "ZONE2", "LIF3"

5. Add zone to config

You can add zones to an existing config or a new config. To add a zone to a new config, run the cfgcreate command.

FCSwitch1:admin> cfgcreate "new_cfg", "ZONE1"

To add a zone to an existing config, run the cfgadd command.

FCSwitch1:admin> cfgadd "cfg_name", "ZONE2"

6. Save config

After all the zones are added, save the config using the cfgsave.

The cfgsave command only saves the config and will not be enabled.

FCSwitch1:admin> cfgsave
 

7. Verify config

Run the cfgshow command to verify aliases, zones and config are correctly created and listed under Defined configuration section.

 FCSwitch1:admin> cfgshow
 Defined configuration:
 cfg:  new_cfg
                ZONE1; ZONE2;
 zone:  ZONE1
                HBA1; LIF1; LIF3
 zone:  ZONE2
                HBA3; LIF1; LIF3
 alias: HBA1
                21:00:00:24:ff:5f:a5:04
 alias: HBA2
                21:00:00:25:ff:5f:b5:06
 alias: LIF1
                50:00:65:ff:fb:00:16:f8
 alias: LIF3
                50:00:65:ff:fb:00:18:f6

Effective configuration:

8. Enable config

Finally to enable the config, run the command cfgenable followed by the config name.

FCSwitch1:admin> cfgenable new_cfg

Press Yes to confirm.

Run the cfgshow command to verify that the new config and zones are displayed under Effective configuration section.


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