Guest Post: A Zoning Clean-Up From the Field

A guest post from TC.

As many would say…”let’s level set”.

For the record, I’m not a storage admin, unless you consider provisioning storage with EMC’s Unified Plug-in and I’m marginal at best when it comes to that.

But (my 3rd grade teacher taught me to never start a sentence with “But”; but, hey, I’m 35 and can do whatever I want now…eat that Mrs. Bernard.)

I did come across some behavior I hadn’t witnessed previously.  We were dealing with a CX4-120 that had been IPed on a NATed network; to include hba initiators that had been presented from ESXi hosts on a local domain, versus the lab domain already in existence.

Some might say it was an unintended “air-gap” solution, I call it an island in the Bermuda Triangle, figure that one out Breitling lovers.  The tasking at hand was to re-provision an entire Vblock0, which really was almost a Vblock1 because it had been upgraded to the FC back-end.  Nonetheless, it needed new IP’s, an herbal remedy on the array scenario (Flare code update, zoning, re-ip, RAID/Thin Pool/LUN reconfigure), reconfigured network, install UIM and scale-out a Citrix XenDesktop deployment…in 3 days, short order for 4 technicians.

It was a good thing Duane Schweitzer (VCE) was on hand.  We sat and scratched our heads for a few hours regarding the seemingly anomalous behavior that was occurring.  As we see below, the host connectivity status shows a HBA WWPN presented, without the hostname.  We see the new hosts presented (vblade*.lab.*.*.*) and we see the old hosts from the previous domain (*.vblock.local) with registered initiators.  Note that the entire environment was a mixture of initiators and the old hosts with the initiators still registered.  The below screenshot is near the end of our reconfigure.

What would you do?  Look on Powerlink for the Unisphere Administration Guide?   Wrong.  Contact a CX4 guru?  Wrong.  Call Watson?  It was busy destroying the mortals.  Thus, the smartest thing in the world couldn’t help and it has AT&T service, so we knew the celly was about useful as salt while floating in the middle of the ocean.   It seems relatively obvious what the fix action is, but not until we arrived to it.

In our discussions, we knew that the initiators had been registered with ESXi hosts under the 192.168 address space.  How would we know which initiators were which?  Good thing it’s a VBlock, with UCS.  As you may or may not know, the HBA WWPNs are part of the UCS object repository or as they refer to them…vHBAs.  Comparing the Unisphere Connectivity Status window with the specific vHBA on the host, we see 2 registered with the old host and two registered, but not associated with Host 12 (vXXXXXX.vblock.local).

Now we have a starting point.

Right click the highlighted WWPN and select edit.

The “Selected Host” radio button will be selected.  Change the radio button to the “New Host”.  Provide the new Host Name and the correct IP Address.  I can’t explain the Initiator Type, but recalled reading somewhere it needed to be CLARiiON Open and I knew using ESXi Boot from SAN required failovermode 4.  This will assign the correct host and IP to the “random” WWPN.   In addition, this will add the new host and IP to the “Browse Host” section that we’ll see down below.

Returning to the connectivity status, right click and select “edit” on the host in question.  In this example it was vXXXXXX.vblock.local.  Like all techs, screenshots are a consortium of free flowing thoughts; use your imagination on this one.

Returning to the screen we’ve seen before in this write-up, this time select the “Existing Host” radio button and browse.

Select the appropriate host.  In this case, we just created the vblade12 host, so we selected that.

Voila!  Both initiators and paths will be associated with the correct host, provided your zoning isn’t mapped like tributaries from Lake Michigan. Oh, don’t forget to hit “OK”.

All good stories come to a conclusion.  Typically, English prose and paragraph construct dictates that you summarize the 1st paragraph.  Again, I’m going to stick it to Mrs. Bernard and break from the stream here.  Actually, that would be holding ties with appropriate story construction.

We could say Colla! for all you Tosh.0 fans or we could say “Straight Outta FASTon” and be geeky clever, with a twist of old school gangsta’.  Ultimately, it’s about a non-storage guy, who miraculously landed a job with EMC and was presented with an opportunity to sink or swim.  I was thinking sink the entire time, maybe see Jimmy Hoffa on the way.  Fortunately, with the good team of vSpecialists and VCE surrounding the effort, I came out leeching onto a winner.

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