Author : Yucong Feng, PowerVC Software Engineer

PowerVC supports many different storage devices and technologies, including Virtual Fabrics. Virtual Fabrics are a Brocade architecture that virtualizes hardware boundaries. In this blog I will give step by step instructions to set up Virtual Fabrics with PowerVC. There are 4 main procedures that I will touch base on: Brocade Virtual Fabric creation, Brocade user creation & assignment, Zone configuration creation, and PowerVC Virtual Fabric registration.

Refer to ‘Brocade Fabric OS Administrator’s Guide‘ & ‘Brocade Fabric OS Command Refrence‘ for more details on individual steps and commands.

1) Brocade Virtual Fabric Creation
The following instructions will run on the physical Brocade switch that we want to enable a Virtual Fabric on.

1a) Ensure that Virtual Fabric is enabled on a switch
In this step we will check if Virtual Fabric is enabled for the switch, if not, we will enable Virtual Fabric.

switch:admin> fosconfig –show

FC Routing service: disabled

iSCSI service: Service not supported on this Platform

iSNS client service: Service not supported on this Platform

Virtual Fabric: disabled

Ethernet Switch Service: Service not supported on this Platform

switch:admin> fosconfig –enable vf

WARNING: This is a disruptive operation that requires a reboot to take effect.

All EX ports will be disabled upon reboot.

Would you like to continue [Y/N] y

VF has been enabled. Your system is being rebooted.

switch:admin> fosconfig –show

FC Routing service: enabled

iSCSI service: Service not supported on this Platform

iSNS client service: Service not supported on this Platform

Virtual Fabric: enabled

Ethernet Switch Service: Service not supported on this Platform

1b) Creation & Configuration of a Virtual Fabric on a Switch

In this example, a Virtual Fabric with Fabric ID 3(FID) will be created, and the Admin domain set will also be set to 3.

Any extra configuration would be dependent on your preferences.


switch_2:FID2:admin> lscfg –create 3

About to create switch with fid=3. Please wait…

Logical Switch with FID (3) has been successfully created.

Logical Switch has been created with default configurations.

Please configure the Logical Switch with appropriate switch

and protocol settings before activating the Logical Switch.

switch_2:FID2:admin> setcontext 3

switch_3:FID3:admin> switchdisable

switch_3:FID3:admin> configure


Fabric parameters (yes, y, no, n): [no] y

Domain: (1..239) [1] 3

WWN Based persistent PID (yes, y, no, n): [no] n

Allow XISL Use (yes, y, no, n): [yes]

R_A_TOV: (4000..120000) [10000]

E_D_TOV: (1000..5000) [2000]

WAN_TOV: (0..30000) [0]

MAX_HOPS: (7..19) [7]

Data field size: (256..2112) [2112]

Sequence Level Switching: (0..1) [0]

Disable Device Probing: (0..1) [0]

Suppress Class F Traffic: (0..1) [0]

Per-frame Route Priority: (0..1) [0]

Long Distance Fabric: (0..1) [0]

BB credit: (1..27) [16]

Disable FID Check (yes, y, no, n): [no]

Insistent Domain ID Mode (yes, y, no, n): [no]

Disable Default PortName (yes, y, no, n): [no]

Virtual Channel parameters (yes, y, no, n): [no]

F-Port login parameters (yes, y, no, n): [no]

Zoning Operation parameters (yes, y, no, n): [no]

RSCN Transmission Mode (yes, y, no, n): [no]

Arbitrated Loop parameters (yes, y, no, n): [no]

System services (yes, y, no, n): [no]

Portlog events enable (yes, y, no, n): [no]

ssl attributes (yes, y, no, n): [no]

rpcd attributes (yes, y, no, n): [no]

webtools attributes (yes, y, no, n): [no]

WARNING: The domain ID will be changed. The port level zoning may be affected

switch_3:FID3:admin> switchenable

1c) Assigning Ports to the Virtual Fabric

Physical ports must be assigned to the virtual fabric.. In this example, two ports (50 & 51) will be assigned to the newly created Virtual Fabric 3. A recently moved port will be disabled, and must be re-enabled.

switch_3:FID3:admin> lscfg –config 3 -port 50-51

This operation requires that the affected ports be disabled.

Would you like to continue [y/n]?: y

Making this configuration change. Please wait…

Configuration change successful.

Please enable your ports/switch when you are ready to continue.

switch_3:FID3:admin> switchshow

switchName: switch_3

switchType: 64.3

switchState: Online

switchMode: Native

switchRole: Principal

switchDomain: 3

switchId: fffc03

switchWwn: 10:00:00:05:33:2d:cd:dd

zoning: OFF

switchBeacon: OFF

FC Router: OFF

Allow XISL Use: ON

LS Attributes: [FID: 3, Base Switch: No, Default Switch: No, Address Mode 0]

Index Port Address Media Speed State Proto


50 50 030000 id N8 In_Sync FC Disabled

51 51 030100 id N8 In_Sync FC Disabled

switch_3:FID3:admin> portenable 50

switch_3:FID3:admin> portenable 51

2) Brocade User Creation & Assignment

A unique user must be created on the brocade switch. The user will be able to create and delete zones in the Virtual Fabric FID assigned to the user.

2a) Creation of a User

A user named ‘powervc_user3’ is created with the access to Virtual Fabrics 3, default Virtual Fabric 3, and is given ‘user’ permission.

Junction-1:FID128:admin> userconfig –add powervc_user3 -l 3 -r user

Setting initial password for powervc_user3

Enter new password:

Account powervc_user3 has been successfully added.


2b) Assigning Default Virtual Fabric to User.

If a user is created without a home Virtual Fabric, this user has the default VFID, which is 128. The user must be assigned a default Virtual Fabric before it can be used to create zones in a specific VFID.

Note: you cannot add or delete Logical Fabrics from an existing user.

Junction-1:FID128:admin> userconfig –change powervc_user3 -h 3

3) Zone Configuration Creation
For zoning to take place, we need to create an active zone configuration with a single zone in it.

3a) Creating a Zone
This step is optional if there are already zones created. When creating a zone configuration, it cannot be empty. So we will create a static zone to place in the zone configuration.

switch_3:FID3:admin> zonecreate “powervc_zone1”, “10:00:00:05:33:2d:cd:dc”

switch_3:FID3:admin> cfgsave

You are about to save the Defined zoning configuration. This

action will only save the changes on Defined configuration.

Any changes made on the Effective configuration will not

take effect until it is re-enabled. Until the Effective

configuration is re-enabled, merging new switches into the

fabric is not recommended and may cause unpredictable

results with the potential of mismatched Effective Zoning


Do you want to save Defined zoning configuration only? (yes, y, no, n): [no] y

Updating flash …

switch_3:FID3:admin> zoneshow

Defined configuration:

zone: powervc_zone1


3b) Creating & Activating Zone Configurations

Here we will create & activate the new zone configuration with the zone created in the previous step.

switch_3:FID3:admin> cfgcreate “powervc_cfg”, “powervc_zone1”

switch_3:FID3:admin> cfgshow

Defined configuration:

cfg: powervc_cfg


zone: powervc_zone1


Effective configuration:

no configuration in effect

switch_3:FID3:admin> cfgenable “powervc_cfg”

You are about to enable a new zoning configuration.

This action will replace the old zoning configuration with the

current configuration selected. If the update includes changes

to one or more traffic isolation zones, the update may result in

localized disruption to traffic on ports associated with

the traffic isolation zone changes

Do you want to enable ‘powervc_cfg’ configuration (yes, y, no, n): [no] y

zone config “powervc_cfg” is in effect

Updating flash …

switch_3:FID3:admin> cfgshow

Defined configuration:

cfg: powervc_cfg


zone: powervc_zone1


Effective configuration:

cfg: powervc_cfg

zone: powervc_zone1


4) PowerVC Virtual Fabric Registration

Powervc Registration is very straightforward. Access the PowerVC user interface. From the Home page, click “Add Fabric.” Register the switch with the Brocade user login that has the desired home virtual fabric.

After you have registered a user that is assigned to specific virtual fabric, you cannot assign the user another home VFID. Changing the VFID changes the fabric that the user creates zones in.

PowerVC has now registered the Virtual Fabric. Any zoning operation done by PowerVC will be limited to only that Virtual Fabric. Following the steps provided, PowerVC supports multiple Virtual Fabric management from the same physical switch. If you have any questions, please post them below, and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter!

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