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Cisco MDS 9000 and VSAN’s

April 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Fibre Channel Storage Networks primarily use two different ways to partition fabrics.

1. Physically separated fabrics, using two or more Fabric switches where each half of the fabric is not interconnected, fabric a/b, with each fabric running a single zoneset.

2. Logically separated fabrics, using one of more Fabric switches that are connected but implement VSAN’s and multiple zoneset’s to partition the Fabric.

Cisco uses VSAN’s to be the storage equivalent of VLAN’s in Ethernet switches and routers.

The same as VLAN 1 in switches, VSAN 1 also known as the default VSAN, is typically used for communication, management, or testing purposes. It is recommend that you do not use VSAN 1 as your production environment VSAN.

VSAN’s are created and stored in the VSAN database:

show vsan membership

The following steps are required setup a VSAN.

1. Create a VSAN
2. Add interfaces to the VSAN
3. Configure the interfaces
4. Enable the interfaces
5. Connect the cables to the interfaces

VSAN trunking enables interconnect ports to transmit and receive frames in more than one VSAN over one physical interface using enhanced ISL (EISL) frame format.

Trunked E_Ports become TE_Ports, those TE_Ports have an associated VSAN’s trunk allowed list, by default 1-4039 are allowed.

In combination with Port Channel Fibre switches can be interconnected to act as one large aggregated fabric that still has partitions to reduce the impact of changes and modifications to one zoneset affecting another.

Reference: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/storage/san_switches/mds9000/sw/san-os/quick/guide/qcg_vin.html

Categories: Fibre Channel