S e n d d o c u m e n t a t i o n c o m m e n t s t o m d s f e e d b a c k - d o c @ c i s c o . c o m
Up to 256 VSANs can be configured in a switch. Of these, one is a default VSAN (VSAN 1), and another
is an isolated VSAN (VSAN 4094). User-specified VSAN IDs range from 2 to 4093.
VSANs Versus Zones
You can define multiple zones in a VSAN. Because two VSANs are equivalent to two unconnected
SANs, zone A on VSAN 1 is different and separate from zone A in VSAN 2.
differences between VSANs and zones.
VSAN and Zone Comparison
VSANs equal SANs with routing, naming, and zoning protocols. Routing, naming, and zoning protocols are not available
VSANs limit unicast, multicast, and broadcast traffic.
Membership is typically defined using the VSAN ID to Fx ports. Membership is typically defined by the pWWN.
An HBA or a storage device can belong only to a single
VSAN—the VSAN associated with the Fx port.
VSANs enforce membership at each E port, source port, and
VSANs are defined for larger environments (storage service
VSANs encompass the entire fabric.
defined: zone A, zone B, and zone C. Zone C overlaps both zone A and zone B as permitted by Fibre
Channel standards. In VSAN 7, two zones are defined: zone A and zone D. No zone crosses the VSAN
boundary—they are completely contained within the VSAN. Zone A defined in VSAN 2 is different and
separate from zone A defined in VSAN 7.
Cisco MDS 9000 Family CLI Configuration Guide
Traffic isolation—Traffic is contained within VSAN boundaries and devices reside only in one
VSAN ensuring absolute separation between user groups, if desired.
Scalability—VSANs are overlaid on top of a single physical fabric. The ability to create several
logical VSAN layers increases the scalability of the SAN.
Per VSAN fabric services—Replication of fabric services on a per VSAN basis provides increased
scalability and availability.
Redundancy—Several VSANs created on the same physical SAN ensure redundancy. If one VSAN
fails, redundant protection (to another VSAN in the same physical SAN) is configured using a
backup path between the host and the device.
Ease of configuration—Users can be added, moved, or changed between VSANs without changing
the physical structure of a SAN. Moving a device from one VSAN to another only requires
configuration at the port level, not at a physical level.
shows the possible relationships between VSANs and zones. In VSAN 2, three zones are
on a per-zone basis.
Zones are always contained within a VSAN. Zones never
span two VSANs.
Zones limit unicast traffic.
An HBA or storage device can belong to multiple zones.
Zones enforce membership only at the source and
Zones are defined for a set of initiators and targets not
visible outside the zone.
Zones are configured at the fabric edge.
OL-16184-01, Cisco MDS SAN-OS Release 3.x
Configuring and Managing VSANs