Please begin by downloading the attached PDF here.

As you can see this is a fully compiled listing of all 256 possible FC WWPN’s available on a VMAX³ system. A 100K system can cater for a maximum of 64 FC Front-end connections, a 200K has a possible 128 ports, while the flagship 400K can have up to 256 FC Front-end connections.



Note: for demonstration purposes I am using X’s and a ? to explain the unique identifiers of a VMAX³ system. Please refer to the .pdf listing to help understand the concept.

X:XX:XX:X = System-wide Unique ID – as you will see from the provided WWPN listing this value is the unique identifier per VMAX³ system (a follow-on post focusing on decoding VMAX³ WWN’s shall explain this further). On a per VMAX³ system the X:XX:XX:X value will remain the same for all FC WWPN’s associated with that VMAX³ system.

There is a notable change from the previous VMAX usage of WWPN’s; there is now a unique identifier labeled as ? this uniquely identifies a pair of engines:

? = Unique ID For Engines 1&2 | 3&4 | 4&6 | 7&8

On previous VMAX generations all the X’s and ? were consistent across all FC Port WWPN’s with only the last 2 hex values of a WWPN acting as the unique port identifier, with the VMAX³ the unique port identifier is now the last three hex values. With VMAX³ the key point to note is the ? value remains the same throughout directors 1-4 then increments by one hex value for the next four directors, for example if C:04 is the unique ID for Director1 Port4 then for Director5 Port4 the C changes to D and remains at this value for directors 5-8 etc; so given this information and referring to the list provided:

Director1 Port4 has a value of 50:00:09:75:58:01:EC:04
Director5 Port4 has a value of 50:00:09:75:58:01:ED:04
Director9 Port4 has a value of 50:00:09:75:58:01:EE:04
Director13 Port4 has a value of 50:00:09:75:58:01:EF:04

There are two choices of FC Font-end I/O Modules to choose from:
• 8 Gbps four-port FC-module (Glacier) Non-Bifurcated, operational at speeds of 2/4/8Gbps, Populated left to right (Slots 2,3,8,9).
• 16 Gbps four-port FC-module(Rainfall) Bifurcated(meaning that the 8 lanes of PCIe are split into 2 connections of 4 lanes each), operational at speeds of 4/8/16Gbps, Populated right to left (Slots 9,8,3,2).
VMAX3 uses PCIe 3.0 thus allowing for maximum available port speeds.

Dual Fabric:One approach for cabling is to connect Even director ports to Fabric-A & Odd director ports connect to Fabric-B. Engine-1 Example:
When using this approach in a single engine system the I/O ports from each director evenly span both SAN fabrics.

HOST or Cluster FA Port Usage: in order to ensure a balanced approach is maintained, connect a Host or cluster to 2xDirectors in a Single Engine system or 4xDirectors in a VMAX with greater than 1xEngine.
Single Engine example:Zoning a Host evenly across 2 directors and across both fabrics using ports 1D:4, 1D:31, 2D:28 & 2D:7:


Two Engine example: Zoning a Host or Cluster evenly across 4 directors and across both fabrics using ports 1D:4, 2D:31, 3D:28 & 4D:7, this will spread load for performance and ensure fabric redundancy :


These examples are a guideline for evenly balancing port utilization across all available director ports. See below for additional reading.

VMAX³ ACLX GK: The first physical FA port on the array will have the show ACLX flag set; thus any host attached to that port will be shown the ACLX device as LUN 000.

Hopefully these considerations and lists may assist you with planning (or automating) your zoning scripts for VMAX³ systems.

SYMCLI List all FA WWN’s: symcfg -sid xxx list -fa all -port -detail

Useful References:
VMAX3 Family New Features – A Detailed Review of Open Systems White Paper

Click to access h13578-vmax3-family-new-features-wp.pdf

VMAX3 Reliability, Availability, and Serviceability Tech Notes

Click to access h13807-emc-vmax3-reliability-availability-and-serviceability-tech-note.pdf


  1. Thank you for the great post and an awesome PDF. Can you explain how you got to use 1D:4 / 2D:28 and 2D:7 / 1D:31?

    I remember that in earlier VMAX families (40K multi-engine), that we had to choose ports per engine split since they shared the same processor; would like to know how the logic spans in this case.

    Thank you,

  2. Thanks David. Very helpful indeed.

    Great to see that we can allocate FE/BE resources as necessary. Haven’t had a chance to get hands on with the new VMAX3 family; looking forward to it.

  3. Hello David,

    Can you re-check the SLIC population order please.

    It should be like below.

    Non-Bifurcated I/O Modules will be populated left to right
    Glacier 8Gbps FC I/O Module

    Bifurcated I/O modules will be populated right to left
    Rainfall 16Gbps FC I/O Module


    • Hi John

      There are some restrictions but yes you can.

      Please refer to the latest SE CLI Guide 8.1 (page 272):

      Click to access docu61124.pdf

      Use the symconfigure associate port command to associate one or more physical ports to a director emulation type in the specified director board.
      To associate a port to a director, use the following syntax:

      symconfigure associate port [,. . .] to dir ;

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