Masking and zoning for SAN security

How they work to enhance security.

Masking and zoning for SAN security
Rick Cook

Although zoning and masking are usually thought of in terms of SAN administration, they are also important tools for maintaining SAN security in a Fibre Channel SAN. Since the Fibre Channel architecture allows any server (and by extension any user on that server) to access all the storage on the system, securing a SAN involves limiting what storage the server can reach, or even see.

Once the SAN itself has been appropriately secured by controlling user access, the next step is to limit application servers on the SAN to those parts of the storage array they need to do their jobs. The first step is controlling access to the SAN by users.

Zoning splits the SAN into subnetworks, with each application server assigned to a zone. The servers within a zone have any-to-any connectivity, but anything outside the zone is invisible to them. Zoning can be done either in hardware by linking ports on the Fibre Channel fabric, or in software. Software zoning usually relies on the World Wide Port Name and the World Wide Node Name, using a name server that generally runs inside the fabric switch.

Masking restricts access even further, to specific logical storage units. With LUN masking, application servers are restricted to those logical storage devices assigned to them. Masking offers finer granularity at the expense of somewhat more complex administration. Like zoning, it can be implemented either in hardware or software and is often built into SAN products such as routers, bridges or storage controllers. With LUN masking, application servers are restricted to those logical storage devices assigned to them.

FalconStor discusses Fibre Channel security, with emphasis on its products, in a white paper available at: www.falconstor.com/Whitepapers/FibreChannelSecurity.


Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.


This was first published in May 2002

Dig Deeper on SAN management

PRO+

Content

Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

0 comments

Oldest 

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

-ADS BY GOOGLE

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • Tintri VMstore T5000

    Like all of its VM-aware storage systems, Tintri’s first all-flash array -- the Tintri VMstore T5000 -- allows admins to bypass ...

  • SolidFire SF9605

    The high-capacity SolidFire SF9605 uses SolidFire’s Element OS 8 (Oxygen) to deliver new enterprise features such as synchronous ...

  • HPE 3PAR StoreServ 20850

    HPE 3PAR StoreServ 20850 holds 1,024 solid-state drives (SSDs). Hewlett Packard Enterprise claims it can deliver more than three ...

SearchVirtualStorage

SearchCloudStorage

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchDataBackup

  • Asigra Cloud Backup Version 13

    Asigra Cloud Backup Version 13 provides an AWS Elastic Block Store Snapshot Manager and the ability to support Docker container ...

  • Veeam Availability Suite v8

    Veeam Availability Suite v8 offers several key backup software components in one package, including Veeam Cloud Connect, Snapshot...

  • Druva inSync 5.5

    Druva inSync 5.5 endpoint backup software stands out with its proactive compliance, cloud app integration, full text search and ...

Close