PowerVC 1.3.3 provides support for Brocade virtual fabrics. These virtual fabrics allow us to segregate ports on a switch or a fabric into sub-fabrics for switch virtualization. Traditional switch support uses all the ports in the switch in a single Fiber Channel fabric. Virtual fabrics (VFs) allow us to create up to eight logical switches inside the physical switch (chassis), depending on the switch model. After logical switches are created, FC ports can be moved between logical switches. Each logical switch can be joined with another logical switch to form an inter-switch link (ISL). Prior to 1.3.3, to register a specific VFID, you would create a home user login for each of the VFID in a Brocade switch. Then, you would specify the home user login information in the fabric registration wizard. PowerVC 1.3.3 provides an easier mechanism to add multiple logical switches by using VFID in the fabric registration wizard instead of the home user login. We can register multiple virtual fabrics residing in the same physical switch, and up to 25 total fabrics (including both physical and virtual).
For example, the G620 can have a maximum of 4 logical switches with Brocade Firmware Fabric OS (FOS) 8.0. Each logical switch must be assigned a unique fabric ID (FID or VFID). The first logical switch is called the default logical switch with value of 128. The logical switch limitation is dependent on the switch hardware; please refer Brocade user guidelines for instructions.
In this blog, I will demonstrate how to configure and register a Brocade virtual switch in PowerVC. You will configure the virtual fabric and then register it with PowerVC.
Configure the Brocade Virtual Fabrics
Before using Brocade virtual fabrics, configure logical switches on a switch with a Fabric OS (FOS) level capable of supporting virtual fabrics. This process involves creating logical switches and adding host and array ports into each of the logical switches. Refer to “Enabling Brocade Virtual Fabrics with PowerVC” for instructions.
- The following image shows that logical switch VFID:50 has been created and shows some of the ports that are assigned to this logical switch.
- Log in to the logical switch and then enable and configure the zone. For instructions, see “PowerVC Zoning“.
- Generate and install a certificate on the Brocade switch. This is necessary because PowerVC uses an HTTPS connection for communication. Refer to the appropriate Brocade Fabric OS administration guide for instructions. These guides can be found by searching the Brocade Document Library.
Register the Brocade Virtual Fabric into PowerVC:
- From the PowerVC user interface, open the Storage page and click Add Fabric. On the Add Fabric page, select Specify Virtual Fabric ID.
- Specify the virtual fabric ID from the virtual fabric that you created.
- Once the registration is successful, deploy virtual machines that use this fabric. The zones will be be created automatically on the logical switch. The figure below shows the deployed VMs belonging to the switch with VFID: 50.
Now you can easily add virtual fabrics to your environment. If you have any questions, feel free to add them below. We’d love to hear from you! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Yucong Feng and Himabindu P J
IBM PowerVC Software Engineers