Ask the Expert

Working with multiple operating systems on a single SAN

Reading a recent article about multiple operating systems on a single SAN, I was curious about the following:

1. If I use WWN zoning from the HBA on the server to the FC interface on the SAN storage array, do I have to be worried about data from differing OSs running through the same interface?

2. HDS's 9980V offers host control domains that apparently let multiple Oss run along the same FC path?

3. Can the data be corrupted with multiple OSs when WWN zoning is implemented?

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Nope, each host storage domain is basically a virtual private interface to each server connected to the same physical storage port. Storage is pooled virtually to each HSD and only the server assigned to that virtual domain has access to it. That's how multiple OSs (up to 128) can share the same physical interface.

If you enforce array-based security and assign the HBA WWN in the server to its own storage domain on the physical port, the only storage it will ever see is the storage it has been assigned. By default, once security is turned on there is no access. You need to expressly turn on access for each server in your environment. Therefore, switch zoning just becomes another level of security and is not really even needed. It's always nice though to zone out Windows from Unix in case someone makes a mistake somewhere.

Chris

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This was first published in May 2003

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