Fiber Channel Zoning without an Cisco MDS

compdigit44
compdigit44 used Ask the Experts™
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Currently in our environment we are using NetApp  for our VMware environment, but will most likely will be purchasing a new Pure Flash array shortly.  We do have FC connecting our hosts the the upstream switches, but do not use an MDS. If we want to use FC with Pure, how would we zone the storage. Would we need to do lun masking on the host side?
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Top Expert 2014

Commented:
I think you are confused between fibre channel (FC) and glass fiber (Ethernet).

May I ask why you would use a switch from Cisco rather than Brocade or Qlogic or any of the other manufacturers?

Author

Commented:
Thank you for your feedback. Right now the only 10GB switch ports we have are FC none Ethernet style i.e RJ45 like ports I.E Cisco 4500 as an example. I am only referencing Cisco switches since we are a Cisco shop.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
FC is 4/8/16/32 Gb, it does not run at 10Gb. Your switches are Ethernet, not fibre channel.

"I am only referencing Cisco switches since we are a Cisco shop"

Your servers are Cisco?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
Normally you would zone on your fabric (a pair of FC switches at least)

Author

Commented:
Ok, our servers are HP and our network gear is Cisco. Back to may original question. Can I zone Ethernet based traffic without an MDS or do I need to use host based lun making?
Top Expert 2014
Commented:
So "we're a Cisco shop" is completely irrelevant, your SAN will not be connected to your LAN so there's no reason to use Cisco for FC. None of the commands are the same except for ones such as "write mem". FC topology is different than Ethernet topology, Since LAN and SAN are so different there is an advantage of using a different manufacturer, stops network engineers thinking they are competent with SANs.

If your servers are HPE and they connect to the SAN why not get HPE branded switches? (most of those are Brocade).
https://www.hpe.com/uk/en/product-catalog/storage/storage-switches.hits-12.html

Oh, and you should zone the switches and use LUN masking on the storage as best practice but uf it's just VMware then it's not essential.

You cannot zone Ethernet, you zone FC,

You may find https://support.purestorage.com/Solutions/SAN/Best_Practices/SAN_Guidelines_for_Maximizing_Pure_Performance helpful.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
Sorry, been browsing your profile trying to judge the size of your IT estate. Your 20TB? NetApp is not much more than a year old, I would ask them about speeding it up rather than buying a new storage box. Have you considered buying another NetApp shelf and filling it with SSDs? That would be much cheaper until you hit the "all-flash" barrier as you have already bought the controllers.

As you are using NFS currently I would also make sure the back-end and front-end networks are separated. You don't want NFS server-to-storage traffic on the same network as your PCs. Even if the front-end and back-end networks are both Cisco it's best not to interconnect them except for the management ports.

Author

Commented:
Thank you all for the feedback. The reason we are getting a new SAN instead of a shelf if because the pricing we were giving on the Pure was far cheaper that getting a shelf.
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
I think NetApp have had their day!

Author

Commented:
agreed.......
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE Fellow)VMware and Virtualization Consultant
Fellow 2018
Expert of the Year 2017

Commented:
It really surprises me they are still selling Filers, they seem to have lagged behind, "once upon a time they had a license to print money" as the only way we would obtain high IOPS was with shelfs of spinning rust!!!

Technology has soon caught up.
Top Expert 2014

Commented:
It'll still be useful as a high availability fileserver.

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