Cisco: Step by Step Zoning – How To

Cisco SAN switch Zoning for beginners

A Zone contains multiple zone members. Zone members are device PWWN (PWWN of the N-Port attached to the switch), fabric PWWN (Switch port PWWN – Port based zoning) etc. This guide is based on the attached device PWWN. As this is more common and have advantages when compared with other types of zone membership. Once a zone is added with members, it is added to a Zone Set. A zoneset is a collection of zones.

Best practice is to configure a zone with Single Initiator and Single Target. This is to avoid unnecessary use of switch resources, However Single Initiator and Multi Target can be configured too. Although zones are contained in a VSAN, only one zoneset can be active at any given time. When you activate a zoneset the configuration information is sent to all other switches in the fabric and it the new zoneset is enforced on all switches. For easy understanding here is a picture of zones which contains single initiator and target.

Fabric is collection of switches (inter connected together) or a single switch. S1, S2, S3 are storage devices and H1, H2, H3 are hosts. The next image illustrates how zones and zonesets are represented in a fabric.

Cisco SAN switch Zoning for beginners
  • In summery PWWN of devices attached to switch port is called zone member and it is added to a zone.
  • One or more zones are then added to a zoneset.
  • Finally, only one zoneset is activated and the change propagates fabric wide.

Make sure you take a note of the PWWN’s of N-Ports that are going to be zoned together before proceeding.

Zoning CLI commands

Since zones are contained in a VSAN, Any zone creation must happen on the concerned VSAN. First, we need to enter into the configuration mode and then into VSAN.

Step 1: Enter configuration mode

switch# config t

Step 2: Creating zone (Host_A-Target_1) on VSAN 10

switch(config)# zone name Host_A-Target_1 vsan 10

Step 3: Adding members to the newly created zone

switch(config-zone)# member pwwn 21:01:00:e0:8b:39:a9:07

and repeat the same to add another member (target)

switch(config-zone)# member pwwn 50:01:10:80:00:ae:01:f8

Step 4: Add the newly create zone to Zoneset_10.

switch(config-zone)# zoneset name Zoneset_10 vsan 10

The above command selects the zoneset Zoneset_10

switch(config-zoneset)# member Host_A-Target_1

Now we have added the newly created zone to zoneset in fabric. Next step is to active the zoneset.

Step 5: Activating the zoneset is an online process and the ports/devices which is being configured/re-configured are only affected.

switch(config-zoneset)# zoneset activate name Zoneset_10 vsan 10

Final Step: Once the zoneset is activated the running configuration must be copied to the startup configuration. This is done to prevent the switch from losing the configuration information. The following command copies the running configuration to the startup configuration on all switches in fabric.

switch# copy running-config startup-config fabric

This tutorial concludes our step by step guide to Cisco Switch Zoning and after completing all the above steps our hosts and storage devices should be able to talk to each other.

Check Also

Cisco: How to Zone with PWWN method

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