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Can we connect external HBA to fabric interconnect?


Does anyone know if we can plug in external server HBA to fabric interconnect when FI is is fibre channel switch mode?

We have VNX5300 directly connected to FI, with 2 B series enclosures.

Customer wishes to have a physical backup server, and as we'll be running Veeam on it, it needs fibre channel connectivity to the SAN.

Can we just connect HBA to fibre port and do the zoning? or must I get external fibre switch to do this?

Any help would be appreciated.



Cisco Employee

Hello Mike,

Even though FI supports local zoning from 2.1 in FC switch mdoe, we cannot connect another server HBA ( initiator ) directly to FI .

This topology is not supported.



Hello Padma,

This thread is very old but I jut can't find anywhere in the documentation if this not supported, from my understanding It's not but I would like to have a specific link to documentation so that I can present that to my end customer .... I have looked at the configuration guides and release notes ... and nothing :(

By the way I'm using 2.2(3e)

Kind regards,

Bruno Fernandes

Hi Bruno,

No worries on the thread life. The thing with Cisco Documentation is we always state what is supported but we don't publish scenarios that are not supported, if we did that we would have to mention every type of configuration that is not supported and there wouldn't be enough room for other documentation.

I probably know you have already seen the white pages I link below and configuration guides but you can tell that what is mentioned are all the scenarios that are supported and nothing of the non-supported scenarios. I'm sorry for this inconvience.


Qiese Dides

Hi Qiese,

I see your point 

Kind regards,

Bruno Fernandes

Wes Austin
Cisco Employee

Hey Bruno,

You may be able to accomplish what you are trying to do by using vHBA initiator groups and using Fc-Storage Ports for the directly attached VNX:

This way you just plug in the WWPN/WWNN of the VNX in the vHBA Initiator groups and they should be able to see the storage.

Let me know if you have questions.



Hi Wes,

If I got your point, you are sugesting to configure WWNn and WWPn of the external hba (the one for the external server ... something like an HP server ... with no VIC card), as an HBA from a storage port.... correct ?   Is this a supported topology by TAC ?




This guide should give you a little more insight on the process I am speaking of:



You dont need any external fiber switch.I dont think these is supported, but I did It with two HP servers and it works.

these will be a fly by overview ok...


I assume you know the basic of Cisco UCS, zonning initiators, targets, show flogi database, show zone, show zoneset commands in the CLI of the FI. You can refresh FC in 5min here:

Connect the cables of the FC 3rd party server to the FI and verfy with "show flogi database" you see the WWPN on the vsans you selected(if any are created).



Take care on the SAN part of the equation, by entering the WWPN initiators of the 3rd party external servers so they can access the LUNs you have prepared once your done with the FI. In my case was a Netapp, 


Go to the UCS manager, In the SAN tab, You will create a Storage connection policy single initiator multiple target, enter the WWPN SAN Targets, and here its the trick, you will also enter the WWPN of the 3rd party server as a Target on the same zone. I created 4 zones one for each HP FC cable since they are really initiators I separate them. 


Lastly in the San connectivity policy, if you have one created, you will add Initiators groups In these case I also created 4, one for each storage policy and You need to check the vHBA Initiator those that goes with FI_A and dose that go with FI_B. your done!! check VMware you will see the added Lun.

1. Use full links

^^^ Here I did not created a Service Profile bacuse I had one, everything else Its Good.  ^^^

2. Best practice info and some Tshoot commands

^^^ just used some of the show commands like connect nxos,show flogi, database, show zone, show zoneset

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