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Advocate

How to implement smart zoning ?

I work on a migration project from Brocade to Cisco MDS,

Today, port-based zoning is used, which will be converted to pwwn.

Most zones have > 2 members, therefore smart zoning is a big topic.

I don't like to setup the device alias db, and tag each entry with init¦  target ¦ both

Q. Do have to start without smart zoning, and let all devices flogin, populating the FCNS db; then convert the VSAN to smart zoning (which I think is disruptive !!),    

or

can I start with smart zoning enabled VSAN, and once the FCNS db is populated, smart zoning is setup automatically ?

7 REPLIES 7
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Contributor

Re: How to implement smart zoning ?

Smart Zoning cable be enabled on existing VSAN and it is not disruptive. I enabled Smart Zoning on a VSAN that contained "regular" zones (single init, single target).  My migration would look like this:

 

Regular zones 

vmax0123-oracleserver1-hba1-fa4d1

member oracleserver1-hba1

member vmax0123-fa4d1

 

vmax0123-oracleserver1-hba1-fa6d1

member oracleserver1-hba1

member vmax0123-fa6d1

 

Smart zone - 

vmax0123-oracleserver1-hba1-fa4d1-6d1

member oracleserver1-hba1  init

member vmax0123-fa4d1  target

member vmax0123-fa6d1 target

 

I would create a brand new "smart" zone as listed above.  I would then add this "smart" zone to my zoneset and at the same time remove my "regular" zone from the zoneset.  Activate zoneset and done.  Server did not know anything happened.  

 

That's how i would slowly transition from regular zones to smart zones. Both co-existing just fine in a smart enabled VSAN until we finally got rid of them all.

 

@dynamoxxx
Highlighted
Advocate

Re: How to implement smart zoning ?

Thanks ! but unfortunately the customer doesn't like this approach; we have several hundred zones, and each has up to 8 entries. (it is already a major effort, to migrate port-based to pwwn based zoning !).

Therefore I would like to automate as much as possible; eg. instead of manually editing each zone member with init ¦ target ¦ both, I would like to read this information out of the FCNS db.

Therefore start with regular zoning; devices should do flogi and FCNS db gets populated.

Then do 

switch(config)# zone convert smart-zoning vsan <vsan no>

Q. I hope this should work

Q. will it be disruptive ?

Highlighted
Contributor

Re: How to implement smart zoning ?

I was too chicken to do it all at once :-)  . Besides I also wanted to take advantage of smart zoning and collapse a lot of my single init-single targe zones into smaller number of smart zones.  Some folks go all out and create one smart zone for all of their ESXi servers and array ports.  I did not feel comfortable going to that extreme, so I just combine a bunch of individual zones for a single host into one smart zone.

 

Good luck Walter !

@dynamoxxx
Highlighted
Advocate

Re: How to implement smart zoning ?

Thanks !

I agree with you 100%!

Being paranoid that with one command I could screw up a couple of thousand users.

As a compromise, I think one could enable smart zoning per zone, but that's annoying as well.

 

Highlighted
Contributor

Re: How to implement smart zoning ?

Walter,

 

Could you do something like this:

 

1) Dump all zones into a flat file and then write something in bash/perl/python/<your favorite scripting language>  that would create brand new zones.  This would allow you to review it offline before you commit to it.

2) Enable Smart Zoninng on the VSAN

3) Import new zones created in step 1 and then remove existing zones.

 

I know it's still a lot of bulk changes but you have an opportunity to review it offline before you commit that this is what you want to do.

 

 

@dynamoxxx
Highlighted
Advocate

Re: How to implement smart zoning ?

Thanks dynamoxxx

After all 

- customer has Brocade today, and they don't have a smart zone feature

- the number of tcam entries grows quadratically with number of entries per zone 

- is there any performance Benefit of smart zoning, or just reduction of tcam entries ?

- is smart zoning widely used or is single init - single target still the most implemented Schema ?

Highlighted
Contributor

Re: How to implement smart zoning ?

Walter,

 

I did not notice any difference as far as zone activation is concerned. It does load faster in DCNM when you are getting ready to modify a VSAN.

 

I don't really think a lot of Cisco customer use smart zoning, I think it should be enabled by default anyway, at least on VSANs that are not in interop mode.  I personally wanted to get rid of so many single init <> single target zones.  We are an EMC shop and a lot of EMC gear will login into each other if you place multiple targets in the same zones (VNX, Symm/VMAX).  We Smart zoning i don't have to worry about that because array ports are tagged as "targets" and they don't login into each other.  If I do need for multiple array ports to login into each other (SANCopy migration for example), I just set ports as "both"  instead of target/initiator.  We have been using SZ ever since it came out in NXOS 5.x ....no issues.

@dynamoxxx
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