How I Zone Multiple VNX Storage Arrays

Posted: September 9, 2011 in CLARIION, EMC, FC Zoning

When it comes to zoning, everyone has their own way to do things, but I thought id share a couple of the things I do to make my life easier down the road, and who knows maybe yours too.

I’m going to mainly concentrate on the zoning of EMC arrays here, but to go broader I think its worth while noting that “single initiator single target” is defiantly the way to go.

In almost every site which I go into, I will find alias names setup for a CLARIION as shown below.

cx4_spa0 or often ill see cx4_spa_port0

There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and it gives you all the information you need such as the Array Type, Storage Processror and Port which is connected. This works well when you have single array, but often people get stuck with additional alias names when they have a second array of the same type. There are of course a number of ways you can go about differentiating the arrays but few keep things tidy and consistent.

The convention I use will depend on how their existing Aliases are configured eg;

vnx_spa_port0 or vnx_spa0 or vnx_spa_port_0 (all of which are examples I have seen in the field). 

So what will I use ? I will configure vnx_3ea13252_spa_0 or  vnx_3ea13252_spa_port0 again depending on existing configurations.

So where does the 3ea13252 come from ? Well every time you zone an array the wwn will be different and that’s the point. I’ve created a diagram below to show a typical CLARRION / VNX wwn which you would expect to see when you go looking on the array or on the switch after connecting it.

As soon as you see the first 3 octets of 50:06:01 then you know it’s an EMC CLARIION array, the next octet is the Storage Processor Port, and the last 4 octets is the unique array ID assigned to the array.

While my alias might not be the most attractively constructed Alias you’ve ever seen, its does give me a very clear path for adding additional VNX arrays to the same switched network as the array ID will never be the same.



If I come back and need to either add an additional array yet again, or make zoning changes, It’s really clear and hard to get wrong. Most of all I like it because its tidy and consistent, maybe it might be a touch on the obsessive compulsive side, and one might argue that port descriptions can be used to get around this….. well I have a golden rule of never trusting port descriptions as they are often out of date. (which means wrong).

This is not EMC best practice, this is just my own way of doing things which works well for me. 🙂


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