Brocade Fabric Assist Zones

Huh, what did they come up with now??? A new way of zoning? FCoE zones? Is this the opposite of target initiated zoning??

Well, no, actually nothing of such sort. Brocade abandoned FA and QL zoning over a decade ago but so very rarely I run into it. From a FOS configuration perspective these zone still operate but no management application is able to handle it any more.

The Brocade FA zones were mostly used in public-loop infrastructure where FL-ports serviced multiple public loops and in conjunction with QuickLoop zones. This way you were able to create special zones for loop enabled devices sitting behind these FL-ports and allowing private (ie direct attached hosts) to communicate with these loop devices. It also prevented certain loop maintenance tasks to have a negative impact on single exchange operations (i.e. for instance tape-backups). Brocade removed this function with FOS 4.1 from a CLI and Webtools perspective however FOS itself still adheres to the configuration. ever since when FOS 4.1 came out in around 2002/2003 the FCAL protocol has been on a decline as switches architectures were more and more affordable as well as required for higher performance and high-availability datacentres.

The FA zones had a special notation where an alias for an FA-zone was created in the form of H{20:00:00:00:c9:3f:e1:7a}.

If you have an environment (even up to FOS 7.3) and the zone-configuration has been propagated through a decade of hardware and software upgrades and you decide to install BNA you might run into a screen like this when you want to do a zoning configuration:

Selection_012(Yes, I ran into this in my own lab. :-))

If you’re then not proficient on the CLI and your webtools also plays up you might have a problem.

Anyway, the best way to circumvent this is to add the WWN as a separate entity to the alias and then remove the H{xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx} notation like this:

Sydney_ILAB_DCX-4S_LS128:FID128:admin> aliadd HSCTRN04,20:00:00:00:c9:23:6b:4e
Sydney_ILAB_DCX-4S_LS128:FID128:admin> aliremove HSCTRN04,H{20:00:00:00:c9:23:6b:4e}
Sydney_ILAB_DCX-4S_LS128:FID128:admin> aliadd train9500_e16c,20:00:00:00:c9:3f:e1:6c
Sydney_ILAB_DCX-4S_LS128:FID128:admin> aliremove train9500_e16c,H{20:00:00:00:c9:3f:e1:6c}
Sydney_ILAB_DCX-4S_LS128:FID128:admin> aliadd train9500_e17a,20:00:00:00:c9:3f:e1:7a
Sydney_ILAB_DCX-4S_LS128:FID128:admin> aliremove train9500_e17a,H{20:00:00:00:c9:3f:e1:7a}

After that do a cfgsave and cfgenable and wait till BNA has done a new inventory poll and you should be good to go.

Hope it helps in the very slight chance you run into this.

Regards,

Erwin

 

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About Erwin van Londen

Master Technical Analyst at Hitachi Data Systems
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