EMC VMAX – 10K Zoning with Cisco MDS Switches

In this example I will show how to complete the zoning for a two Host ESX Cluster (ESX01 & ESX02), using a dual Fabric connecting to a EMC VMAX 10K Dual Engine SAN. As can be seen from the image below this configuration will provide redundancy for the ESX host on both HBA’s as well as on the Switch and VMAX levels.

VMAX10_Zoning9148

This example will detail Zoning the ESX Cluster Hosts to front-end ports on a VMAX10K (2xEngines/4xDirectors) using FA ports 1E0,2E0,3E0,4E0. The Best Practice for the VMAX10K, if beginning with 2 or more engines, is to assign a cluster across 2 VMAX Engines, one port per director for a total of 4 ports.

Each VMAX Engine will have connectivity to each SAN Fabric.
◆ Odd directors are connected to Fabric A (1E0,3E0).
◆ Even directors are connected to Fabric B (2E0,4E0).

In this configuration, the zones are created with one HBA and one FA port (2 Zones per HBA):
◆ ESX HBA-0 is zoned to one port on each Engine. Using Director 1 Engine 1 and Director 3 of Engine 2. (Fabric A)
◆ ESX HBA-1 is zoned to one port on each Engine. Using Director 2 Engine 1 and Director 4 of Engine 2. (Fabric B)

A good rule of thumb is to use all the “zero” ports on directors first before utilizing the “one” ports –Go wide before you go deep.

MDS-SERIES Zoning Commands

The configuration steps below will detail creating:
◆Alias’s for ESX Host’s
◆Alias’s for VMAX-10K Target’s
◆Creating Zones
◆Creating Zonesets

FABRIC ‘A’ SCRIPT

##### Alias’s for ESX Host’s (Initiator’s)#####
fcalias name esx-01_hba0 vsan 10
member pwwn 20:00:00:25:B5:01:A0:01

fcalias name esx-02_hba0 vsan 10
member pwwn 20:00:00:25:B5:01:A0:02

##### Alias’s for VMAX-10K (Target’s)#####
fcalias name VMAX10K_1e0 vsan 10
member pwwn 50:00:09:75:F0:xx:xx:00

fcalias name VMAX10K_3e0 vsan 10
member pwwn 50:00:09:75:F0:xx:xx:08

##### Create ZONES #####
Single-initiator-single-target is the preferred zoning practice.
Note: EMC always recommends using one initiator and one target in each zone.

ESX-01 HBA-0:
zone name esx-01_hba0-VMAX10K_1E0 vsan 10
member fcalias esx-01_hba0
member fcalias VMAX10K_1E0

zone name esx-01_hba0-VMAX10K_3E0 vsan 10
member fcalias esx-01_hba0
member fcalias VMAX10K_3E0

ESX-02 HBA-0:
zone name esx-02_hba0-VMAX10K_1E0 vsan 10
member fcalias esx-02_hba0
member fcalias VMAX10K_1E0

zone name esx-02_hba0-VMAX10K_3E0 vsan 10
member fcalias esx-02_hba0
member fcalias VMAX10K_3E0

##### ZONESET #####
zoneset name vsan10_zs vsan 10
member esx-01_hba0-VMAX10K_1E0
member esx-01_hba0-VMAX10K_3E0
member esx-02_hba0-VMAX10K_1E0
member esx-02_hba0-VMAX10K_3E0

zoneset activate name vsan10_zs vsan 10
zone commit vsan 10
end

##### CONFIRM NEW ADDITIONS #####
show zoneset brief
show zoneset name vsan10_zs
show zoneset active
show zone active vsan 10 | grep esx-01_hba0
show zone active vsan 10 | grep esx-02_hba0
show zone active vsan 10 | grep 20:00:00:25:B5:01:A0:01
show zone active vsan 10 | grep 20:00:00:25:B5:01:A0:02

FABRIC ‘B’ SCRIPT

##### Alias’s for ESX Host’s (Initiator’s)#####
fcalias name esx-01_hba1 vsan 11
member pwwn 20:00:00:25:B5:01:B1:01

fcalias name esx-02_hba1 vsan 11
member pwwn 20:00:00:25:B5:01:B1:02

##### Alias’s for VMAX-10K (Target’s)#####
fcalias name VMAX10K_2E0 vsan 11
member pwwn 50:00:09:75:F0:xx:xx:0C

fcalias name VMAX10K_4E0 vsan 11
member pwwn 50:00:09:75:F0:xx:xx:04

##### Create ZONES #####
zone name esx-01_hba1-VMAX10K_2E0 vsan 11
member fcalias esx-01_hba1
member fcalias VMAX10K_2E0

zone name esx-01_hba1-VMAX10K_4E0 vsan 11
member fcalias esx-01_hba1
member fcalias VMAX10K_4E0

zone name esx-02_hba1-VMAX10K_2E0 vsan 11
member fcalias esx-02_hba1
member fcalias VMAX10K_2E0

zone name esx-02_hba1-VMAX10K_4E0 vsan 11
member fcalias esx-02_hba1
member fcalias VMAX10K_4E0

##### Create ZONESET #####
zoneset name vsan11_zs vsan 11
member esx-01_hba1-VMAX10K_2E0
member esx-01_hba1-VMAX10K_4E0
member esx-02_hba1-VMAX10K_2E0
member esx-02_hba1-VMAX10K_4E0

zoneset activate name vsan11_zs vsan 11
zone commit vsan 11
end

##### CONFIRM NEW ADDITIONS #####
show zoneset brief
show zoneset name vsan11_zs
show zoneset active
show zone active vsan 11 | grep esx-01_hba1
show zone active vsan 11 | grep esx-02_hba1
show zone active vsan 11 | grep 20:00:00:25:B5:01:B1:01
show zone active vsan 11 | grep 20:00:00:25:B5:01:B1:02

By using VMware ESX Servers with multiple physical HBA’s and connecting to multiple directors in different engines this will benefit I/O intensive workloads and will increase redundancy. Balancing accross resources is always the best approach. This is an example configuration and it is always advisible to utilize the EMC tools available to help determine your exact required configuration.

EXAMPLE SINGLE ENGINE DESIGN:
This is the proposed design with the ports cabled as follows for the initial Cluster:

Cluster 1 – FABRIC_A 2E0, 1G0
FABRIC_B 1E0, 2G0
Essentially splitting ports from each director across different fabrics as per the following diagram:

10kSingle

Then Incrementing Port usage per cluster for example:
Cluster 2 – FABRIC_A 2F0, 1H0
FABRIC_B 1F0, 2H0

From such a configuration if a switch failure occurs then we lose half the ports on each director but at least both directors can cater for the workload as opposed to one director.

8 thoughts on “EMC VMAX – 10K Zoning with Cisco MDS Switches

  1. Common Dave, where is device aliases and SmartZoning ? This is 2013 ! 😉

    In my shop we like to connect and zone each hba to even and odd director, with 2 or more engines it does not provide any additional redundancy but we adapted this approach anyways.

  2. Great article, implementing a single engine VMAX as we speak and am curious to know if the design changes such that a single director should have all its ports on fabric A while the other director having all its ports on fabric b? working with a vendor that suggests that approach but it seems to make better sense in my head to split the ports on odd director to have 4 ports on A and 4 ports on B and same for the even director?

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