EMC XtremIO – Smart Zoning Example

The example provided is based on the following design:

  • Dual X-Brick Cluster
  • Cisco MDS Switches – Dual Fabric
  • VMware ESXi 4x Host Environment
  • 4 Smart Zoned Paths per ESXi Host (2 paths per Fabric)

ESXi in this scenario may depict a standalone host or a 4x cluster configuration (Scripts provided are based on a 4x Host basis). Balancing the ESXi Hosts between the XtremIO Storage Controllers is key for the design to provide a distributed workload across all the available Storage Controller target ports. The following example depicts a 4x Host configuration, in the event a 5th Host is required then it is advised to use a round-robin methodology (ESXi05 utilises ESXi01 zoning logic etc.).

The Smart Zoning feature is available with MDS 9000 series switches from NX-OS 5.2(6).

Some of the key benefits of using Smart Zoning:

  • Reduced configuration simplifying the zoning process.
  • Simplified addition of new ESXi hosts – add new ESXi member Host to a Zone and reactivate.
  • Eliminates single-initiator to single-target zones.
  • Reduced Zoneset size – multiple initiators and multiple targets zoned together.
  • Reduced number of Access Control Entries (ACEs).

XtremIO Dual X-Brick Cluster | Cisco Dual Fabric Configuration

In this example the ODD numbered ESXi Hosts (ESXi01&ESXi03) are grouped together and utilise the same XtremIO target ports, likewise the EVEN numbered ESXi Hosts (ESXi02&ESXi04) are grouped together.

ESXi-Dual-XtremIO-Dual-1 - New Page

Dual-XBrick-SmartZoning

Smart Zoning Script ‘Fabric A’

### Enable Smart Zoning on VSAN 10 ###
zone smart-zoning enable vsan 10

### Create Device Aliases for ESXi Hosts ###
device-alias database
device-alias name ESXi01 pwwn 20:00:00:25:xx:01:A0:00
device-alias name ESXi02 pwwn 20:00:00:25:xx:01:A0:01
device-alias name ESXi03 pwwn 20:00:00:25:xx:01:A0:02
device-alias name ESXi04 pwwn 20:00:00:25:xx:01:A0:03

### Create Device Aliases for XtremIO Targets ###
device-alias name X1_SC1_FC1 pwwn 51:4F:0C:50:0E:xx:2E:00
device-alias name X1_SC2_FC1 pwwn 51:4F:0C:50:0E:xx:2E:04
device-alias name X2_SC1_FC1 pwwn 51:4F:0C:50:0E:xx:2E:10
device-alias name X2_SC2_FC1 pwwn 51:4F:0C:50:0E:xx:2E:14
device-alias commit

### Create FC Aliases for XtremIO Targets ###
fcalias name Odd-Num-ESXi-Targets vsan 10
member device-alias X1_SC1_FC1 target
member device-alias X2_SC2_FC1 target

fcalias name Even-Num-ESXi-Targets vsan 10
member device-alias X1_SC2_FC1 target
member device-alias X2_SC1_FC1 target

### Create FC Aliases for ESXi Hosts ###
fcalias name Odd-Num-ESXi-Inits vsan 10
member device-alias ESXi01 init
member device-alias ESXi03 init

fcalias name Even-Num-ESXi-Inits vsan 10
member device-alias ESXi02 init
member device-alias ESXi04 init

### Create Smart Zones on VSAN 10 ###
zone name Odd-Num-ESXi-Zone-A vsan 10
member Fcalias Odd-Num-Hosts-Inits
member Fcalias Odd-Num-Hosts-Targets

zone name Even-Num-ESXi-Zone-A vsan 10
member Fcalias Even-Num-Hosts-Inits
member Fcalias Even-Num-Hosts-Targets

### Add Smart Zones to Zoneset ‘vsan10_zs’ vsan 10 ###
zoneset name vsan10_zs vsan 10
member Odd-Num-ESXi-Zone-A
member Even-Num-ESXi-Zone-A

### Activate Zoneset ‘vsan10_zs’ ###
zoneset activate name vsan10_zs vsan 10
zone commit vsan 10
end

 

Smart Zoning Script ‘Fabric B’

### Enable Smart Zoning on VSAN 11 ###
zone smart-zoning enable vsan 11

### Create Device Aliases for ESXi Hosts ###
device-alias database
device-alias name ESXi01 pwwn 20:00:00:25:xx:01:B1:00
device-alias name ESXi02 pwwn 20:00:00:25:xx:01:B1:01
device-alias name ESXi03 pwwn 20:00:00:25:xx:01:B1:02
device-alias name ESXi04 pwwn 20:00:00:25:xx:01:B1:03

### Create Device Aliases for XtremIO Targets ###
device-alias name X1_SC1_FC2 pwwn 51:4F:0C:50:0E:XX:2E:01
device-alias name X1_SC2_FC2 pwwn 51:4F:0C:50:0E:XX:2E:05
device-alias name X2_SC1_FC2 pwwn 51:4F:0C:50:0E:XX:2E:11
device-alias name X2_SC2_FC2 pwwn 51:4F:0C:50:0E:XX:2E:15
device-alias commit

### Create FC Aliases for XtremIO Targets ###
fcalias name Odd-Num-ESXi-Targets vsan 11
member device-alias X1_SC2_FC2 target
member device-alias X2_SC1_FC2 target

fcalias name Even-Num-ESXi-Targets vsan 11
member device-alias X2_SC2_FC2 target
member device-alias X1_SC1_FC2 target

### Create FC Aliases for ESXi Hosts ###
fcalias name Odd-Num-ESXi-Inits vsan 11
member device-alias ESXi01 init
member device-alias ESXi03 init

fcalias name Even-Num-ESXi-Inits vsan 11
member device-alias ESXi02 init
member device-alias ESXi04 init

### Create Smart Zones on VSAN 11 ###
zone name Odd-Num-ESXi-Zone-B vsan 11
member Fcalias Odd-Num-Hosts-Inits
member Fcalias Odd-Num-Hosts-Targets

zone name Even-Num-ESXi-Zone-B vsan 11
member Fcalias Even-Num-Hosts-Inits
member Fcalias Even-Num-Hosts-Targets

### Add Smart Zones to Zoneset ‘vsan11_zs’ vsan 11 ###
zoneset name vsan11_zs vsan 11
member Odd-Num-ESXi-Zone-B
member Even-Num-ESXi-Zone-B

### Activate Zoneset ‘vsan11_zs’ ###
zoneset activate name vsan11_zs vsan 11
zone commit vsan 11
end

Verification Commands

show zone policy
show device-alias database
show fcalias
show zoneset active
show zone status vsan 10
show zone status vsan 11

*Smart Zoning is the preferred choice for both Vblock and VxBlock 540.

Related Posts:

‘Cisco Smart Zoning for NX-OS in the DCNM-SAN GUI’

‘Cisco Smart Zoning Concepts’

‘Cisco Smart Zoning: is it really worth the effort? YES!’

‘Cisco Smart zoning – part II: examples’

3 thoughts on “EMC XtremIO – Smart Zoning Example

    • Hi Dynamoxx, yes you may configure as you describe. The key here is to balance the host workloads as evenly possible across both SC’s and X-Bricks. This is an example. Thanks

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