^Additional Storage Networking

Smart Zoning

Document ID: 116390

Updated: Aug 05, 2013

Contributed by Kris Vandecruys and Carlos Lopez, Cisco TAC Engineers.



This document describes Smart Zoning, a feature introduced in NX-OS Release 5.2(6) that adds new keywords to the zoning commands in order to label members as initiator, target, or both.

Background Information

The purpose of these Smart Zoning keywords is to reduce the number of Access Control List (ACL) Ternary Content Addressable Memory (TCAM) entries, specifically those for target-target and initiator-initiator connectivity. As these are typically useless, and even problematic sometimes, there is no need to have them.

The alternative is Single Initiator (or Single-Init, Single-Target) zones, but in large environments, the creation of all these separate zones is a big operational overhead.

Smart Zoning combines the benefits of both approaches above:

  • Simplicity of operational management with a Single Zone for all initiators and targets of an application or cluster.
  • No wasted switch resources as with two member zones.

The benefit is particularly apparent in Cloud DC and Big Data deployments, where you have a lot of initiators (ESX nodes in a vCluster) that access the same targets (Data stores). If you need to add a new ESX to your cluster, you simply add one member to your zone and reactivate. This feature is integrated with Unified Computing System (UCS).

Smart Zone Appearance

zone name SmartZone vsan 1
member pwwn 10:00:00:00:c9:2f:02:db init
member pwwn 21:00:00:04:cf:db:3e:a7 target
member pwwn 21:00:00:20:37:15:dc:02 target
member pwwn 10:00:00:00:c9:2e:ff:d5 init
member pwwn 21:00:00:e0:8b:02:56:4b init
member pwwn 21:00:00:e0:8b:03:43:6f init

Once enabled, you add the keywords init, target, and both to the member entry. Smart Zoning only programs TCAMs with entries that connect initiator and target.

You do not need to manually edit all zones. There is a conversion utility which uses the FCNS data to add these keywords.

For example, both is used in replication scenarios where storage copy ports act as both init and target when they replicate data. However, you could also use a two member zone for that.

Convert to Smart Zoning

# conf t
(config)# zone smart-zone enable vsan 1
Smart Zoning distribution initiated. Check zone status.
(config)# zone convert smart-zone vsan 1
(config)# zoneset activate name ZS_VSAN1 vsan 1

Disable Smart Zoning

# conf t
(config)# clear zone smart-zoning vsan 1
WARNING: This command will clear smart zoning configs from the specified
zone/zoneset/fcalias/vsan. Do you want to continue? (y/n) [n] y
(config)# no zone smart-zoning enable vsan 1
WARNING: Disabling Smart Zoning feature may result in TCAM space to exceed
and zone to switch to soft zoning in case the current active database is more
than specified limits. Do you want to continue? (y/n) [n] y
Smart Zoning distribution initiated. check zone status

Disable Smart Zoning for Only One Zone

# conf t 
(config)# zone name DumbZone vsan 1
(config-zone)# attrib disable-smart-zoning

Useful Troubleshooting Commands

# show zone status vsan 1
# show zoneset active vsan 1
# show running zone vsan 1
# show zone internal vsan 1
# show zone internal rscn acl-table current vsan 1
# show zone internal rscn acl-table previous vsan 1
# show zone smart-zoning auto-conv status vsan 1
# show zone smart-zoning error-log

Official Configuration Guide

Refer to the Smart Zoning Member Configuration section of the Cisco MDS 9000 Family NX-OS Fabric Configuration Guide for more information.

Instructional Video

Updated: Aug 05, 2013
Document ID: 116390