World Wide Name (WWN)

A World Wide Name (WWN) is a unique identifier that is assigned to a manufacturer by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and hard-coded into a Fibre Channel (FC) device. 

WWNs are important when setting up a storage area network (SAN). Each device has to be registered with the SAN by its WWN before the SAN will recognize it. (In fact, if the SAN has trouble recognizing a device, the WWN registration is usually one of the first things an administrator will check.) The names are usually 128 binary digits (bits) long, but could be 64 bits if the device is older.

A WWN is similar in concept to a network card's media access control (MAC) address in an Internet protocol (IP) network, but is formatted differently.

This was last updated in May 2011

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