ViPR 2.1 - ViPR Fibre Channel Routing Support with Brocade Switches

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ViPR support for fibre channel routing with Brocade switches

ViPR includes support for Fibre Channel routing configurations using Brocade switches. Fibre Channel Routing (FCR) is designed to allow devices from separate fabrics to communicate without merging the fabrics.

Fibre Channel Routing allows separate autonomous fabrics to maintain their own fabric-wide services and provide the following benefits:
  • Faults in fabric services, fabric reconfigurations, zoning errors, and misbehaving devices do not propagate between fabrics.
  • Devices that cause performance issues in a fabric do not propagate those issues to other fabrics.

This support expands ViPR network and switch support to include configurations that use a Brocade router to move traffic from one physical data center to another. The following figure shows an example of a ViPR-supported datacenter configuration that uses Fibre Channel routing.

In this example, the DCX switch acts as the router between the devices in Fabric 15 and the devices in Fabric 10. In this simple example, Host 5 in Fabric 10 can consume storage on VNX 1 in Fabric 15.

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Fibre Channel Routing configuration requirements

The following guidelines apply to all fibre channel routing configurations.

  • As a part of the routing setup, at least one LSAN zone must be created between each pair of fabrics you expect ViPR to consider. When ViPR discovers the topology, it assumes that if an LSAN zone exists between two fabrics, then routing between the fabrics is allowed. If there is no LSAN zone between the fabrics, ViPR assumes that routing is not allowed between the fabrics.
  • CMCNE must discover the router and a seed switch in each participating fabric. In this example, CMCNE running on Host 1 would have to discover Brocade_Switch1, the DCX Switch, and Brocade Switch 2.
  • ViPR must successfully discover CMCNE. From the Administration view, choose Physical Assets > Fabric Managers to add and discover CMCNE.

Refer to the EMC® Connectrix Manager Converged Network Edition User Guide for more information on installing and configuring CMCNE.

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ViPR switch and network terminology

ViPR has three external interfaces - a REST API, a Command Line Interface (CLI), and a User Interface. The scripting and programming interfaces (API and CLI) use slightly different terminology to refer to the network elements of your Storage Area Network.

The terminology used in each ViPR Interface is as follows:
  • Cisco switches and Brocade CMCNE management stations are called fabric managers in the user interface.
  • In the ViPR REST API and the ViPR CLI, Brocade CMCNE management stations and Cisco switches are called network-systems. Cisco VSANs and Brocade fabrics are called networks.
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Supported CMCNE versions

See the ViPR Support Matrix for a complete list of supported versions of CMCNE.

Refer to the CMCNE Release Notes for a list of supported switch platforms and minimum firmware revisions.

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