Can you change zoning settings online and if so, does it have any negative impact? Does it make the ports offline for a while?
You can usually change zone settings at any time as long as the new zone does not disconnect anything that has active access to storage resources.
I have customers that use different zones for tape resources so that different operating systems and backup software running on different platforms can share the same large tape library. As long as you have persistent bindings set up, I have found everything to work fine.
Zoning changes should not affect the ports that are currently logged on to the fabric. Be careful though, since a zoning change that removes access to a resource that is in use will have negative impacts. Take a SAN LUN that is used for boot access for instance. Any loss of connectivity to the boot drive will cause an NT server to have fits.
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This was first published in September 2003