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Cisco UCS Policy Based Zoning and No Brocade Neighbors

Policy Based Zoning on the 2.1 code level is pretty slick. The FC ports have to be set to “FC Switch Mode” and that makes connecting to an existing fabric problematic but possible. Setting the FC ports to “Compatibility Mode” is suggested against strongly. Not going to try it out since that is the case. But for direct attached SAN devices this is a great system. Brocade would do well to have some form of policy based zoning. Unfortunately “Policy Based Zoning” isn’t going to get along with Brocade Neighbors.

Zoning as a Policy in a “Service Profile Template” means only LUN masking on storage device has to be done! Not having to add zoning to two switches per “Service Profile” is quite the luxury.

Some links I am using for reference.

Andrew Travis’s Blog: Cisco UCS Direct-Attached SAN (this is a great resource)

Configuring Fibre Channel Zoning

If you have experience with this or have questions feel free to send me email in the contact section or comment this post.

Making it happen from the bottom up:

Step 1)
Fibre Channel uplink ports on Cisco UCS 6248 fabric interconnects

Step 2)
Set each FC port to be used as a “FC Storage Port” under equipment tab

FC Storage Port
FC Storage Port

Step 3)
Create VSAN’s under “Storage Cloud”. This will be a different location from the usual “SAN Cloud” if used to FC End-Host mode. This will be needed so the VSAN can be assigned to a “FC Storage Port”.

Storage Cloud
Storage Cloud

Step 4)
Assign VSAN’s to corresponding “FC Storage Port’s”

FC Storage Port VSAN
FC Storage Port VSAN

Step 5)
Create vHBA Templates

Step 6)
Create Storage Connection Policy. This is where the Policy Based Zoning happens. Here you set your Targets. Always go “Single Initiator Single Target” if you are cool.

Storage Connection Policies
Storage Connection Policies

Step 7)
Create SAN Connectivity Policy. Here you select vHBA’s and “Storage Connection Policy” for those vHBA’s. UCS will is smart enough to route the traffic corresponding to FIA and FIB to targets via vSAN.

SAN Connectivity Polices
SAN Connectivity Polices

Step 8)
Add Storage Connectivity Policy to Service Profile Template

Video walk through setting up “Policy Based Zoning”

Would be nice if each FC port could be set to End-Host or Switching mode. UCS’s with directly connected SAN devices and attached to a Brocade would be common if possible. For port cost a SAN switch between FI and several SAN storage devices and FC End Host mode is a must. That is why a mix or End Host an Switch Mode would be great. Cisco, make this happen! Overall this is officially a “Kick-Ass” feature.

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