How to Zone a Brocade SAN Switch

Here are the basics to add a new device to a SAN fabric. I’m working with a Brocade Silkworm 4900. In this scenario, I replaced a server that connects to a tape library for backup.


HBA - Host Bus Adapter, which in this case, refers to the Fibre Channel Card. In LAN networking, it’s analogous to an Ethernet card.
WWN - World Wide Name, a unique 8-byte number identifying the HBA. In Ethernet networking, it’s analogous to the MAC address.
FC Zone - Fibre Channel Zone, a partitioned subset of the fabric. Members of a zone are allowed to communicate with each other, but devices are not allowed to communicate across zones. An FC Zone is loosely analogous to a VLAN.

Steps to Zone Brocade Switch

  1. Plug in the FC Connector into an open port on the switch.
  2. Login to the server and verify the HBA connection. It should see the switch but not the storage device.
  3. Login to the Brocade Switch GUI interface. You’ll need Java enabled on your browser.
  4. Check the Brocade Switch Port.
    1. On the visual depiction of the switch, click on the port where you plugged in the FC connector.
    2. The Port Administration Services screen should pop up. You’ll need to enable the pop-up.
    3. Verify that the Port Status is “Online”. Note the port number.
    4. Close the Port Administration Services screen.
  5. Find the WWN of your new device
    1. Navigate back to the original GUI page.
    2. Select Zone Admin, an icon on the bottom left of the screen. It looks like two squares and a rectangle.
    3. Expand the Ports & Attaching Devices under the Member Selection List.
    4. Expand the appropriate port number. Note the attached WWN.
  6. Create a new alias for this device
    1. Click New Alias button
    2. Follow menu instructions
  7. Add the appropriate WWN to the alias
    1. Select your new device name from the Name drop down menu
    2. Expand the WWNs under Member Selection List
    3. Highlight the appropriate WWN
    4. Select Add Member
  8. Add the alias to the appropriate zone
    1. Select the Zone tab
    2. Select the appropriate zone from the Name drop down menu
    3. Select the appropriate alias from the Member Selection List
    4. Click Add Member
  9. Ensure that the zone is in Zone Config in the Zone Config tab
  10. Save your changes by selecting ZoningActions -> Enable Config
  11. Login back in to the server to verify. It should now see the storage devices.

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8 Responses to “How to Zone a Brocade SAN Switch”

  1. [...] you need more detailed instructions, here are some potentially useful posts: How to Zone a Brocade SAN Switch and How to Zone IBM DS4000 SAN [...]

  2. dan thomas says:

    Hello Ryan ,
    Really a wounderfull topic and its explanation , I searched in the net a lot more and struggled with how to configure . This is simple and easy to deploy and understandable.
    Thanks Ryan

  3. Ryan says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Dan.

  4. jesie says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Thank You!
    Btw, is there any differences on how to configure it on Brocade 48000?
    Again, thanks for the useful writting

  5. Jithin says:

    Hi Ryan, This document is really good and helpfull . I would also like to have more information on this. Could you please send me.

    1) Example senario: Two servers With Dual HBA , 2 switches and CX storage.

    Srv1 HBA1 — WWN is 00……..01 –> Port1 switch1
    Srv1 HBA2 — WWN is 00……..02 –> port1 switch2

    Srv2 HBA1 — WWN is 01……..01 –> Port2 switch1
    Srv2 HBA2 — WWN is 02……..02 –> Port2 switch2

    SPA FC0 — WWN is fc….01 –> Port3 switch1
    SPA FC1 — WWN is fc….01 –> Port3 switch2

    SPB FC0 — WWN is fc….02 –> Port4 switch1
    SPB FC1 — WWN is fc….03 –> Port4 switch2

    I have 1TB 2 luns , one assined to srv1 and other to srv2 Lun1 in SPA and Lun2 in SPB. Here I have access logix. Still i want to create Zone for more performace.

    Could you please tell me the detailed steps in creatng the Zone for this senarion starting from creating Zone alias till saving the config.

  6. Ryan says:

    Jesie — I actually have not configured a 4800, but the brocade switches that I have worked with generally have similar GUI interfaces. For SAN switching, I find that once I was able to understand the concepts — or rather the terminology — configuration has been relatively intuitive. Good luck!

    Jithin — I’d be happy to help you as a consulting project, because what you’re asking for requires some work. My resume and contact info are here:


  7. JEEVA says:

    HI RYAN,

    I have done Zoning and its working fine… but I want to Know about SAN switch configuration from initial state….. from (POST) in a new switch can you guide me please ????

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