Configuring WWxN Pools in UCS

In UCS we can create these things called WWxN pools.  The “x” in WWxN can stand for either “N” node, or “P” port.  This is essentially a pool that you can use for all of your WWN assignments without having to create separate WWNN and WWPN pools.  For people who don’t necessarily care about a schema to signify the difference between WWNN and WWPN, maybe the streamlined WWxN pool is for you. (more…)

Multihop FCoE to Server in vPC + NPV/NPIV

If you’re like me and had a difficult time at first understanding how to present separate VSAN fabrics to a server in a single vPC, I hope this post helps you out. I’ll be covering this exact scenario, as well as multihop FCoE with Nexus 5K switches in two topologies – Without NPV/NPIV and with NPV/NPIV. (more…)

Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) for CCIE DC

Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) is a tunneling protocol used to connect FC networks across IP networks, such as a WAN. It uses TCP with the DF bit set. Being that this is IP storage, it is only supported on the MDS platform. The basic configuration is straight forward, but be aware that there are lots of configurable tweaks.  In this blog post I’ll be going through the configuration of several FCIP topologies, feel free to follow along.  At the end I’ll post a quick template. (more…)

FC Security for CCIE DC – Fabric Binding

Fabric binding ensures that switches configured in the fabric binding database are permitted to connect to the switch. If a switch tries to join the fabric, and that switch is not in the fabric binding database, access is denied.  Fabric binding is configured on a per-VSAN basis. (more…)

FC Security for CCIE DC – FC-SP / DHCHAP

Fibre Channel Security Protocol (FC-SP) provides the capabilities for Diffie-Hellman Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (DHCHAP) to authenticate switches and/or hosts attempting to enter the fabric. The terms FC-SP and DHCHAP are used interchangeably. Unlike most FC feature, DHCHAP is not configured on a per-VSAN basis. (more…)

Fibre Channel (FC) Basics for CCIE DC

When first looking at the blueprint for the CCNA/CCNP/CCIE Data Center track, one of my biggest fears was storage. My entire career thus far has been based on traditional IP data networks, not storage networks. I’m used to things like MAC addresses and IP addresses, not WWPNs and FCIDs. This is a completely foreign technology to most Network Engineers. You have to think back, at some point we were young and hopeful CCNAs-to-be, we knew nothing, but that didn’t stop us! Intimidation is over-rated, so throw fear aside and know that persistence always wins. (more…)