Crash Course: Zoning

To help you get further along the road with your own SAN implementation, we've collected a wealth of expert zoning advice for you. This Crash Course will teach you about zoning methods and how to troubleshoot your own installation.

When setting up a SAN, zoning is an important aspect to consider. It lets you allocate specific resources to specific groups, helps keep your data secure and lets you have multiple operating systems coexisting on the same SAN. But there are several ways to accomplish zoning and it's not always easy to know which method is best. There's hard zoning, soft zoning, port zoning, WWN zoning, etc. Given these murky waters, it can be tough for today's administrator to troubleshoot zoning problems and pinpoint the best methods for carving up SAN territory.

To help you get further along the road with your own SAN implementation, we've collected a wealth of expert zoning advice for you. This Crash Course provides details that can help you learn about zoning methods or troubleshoot your own installation.

The idea behind zoning is to allow certain users to access or talk to other devices on a network. These articles offer detailed information about the intricacies of zoning, how it works, and how you can best solve your problems using zoning -- in a small or large environment.

  • Zoning: An overview
  • Configuring the SAN: zoning, HBAs and switches
  • Hard zoning vs. soft zoning
  • What hard and soft port zoning means
  • Using hard zoning without overlapping zones
  • Common zoning schemas
  • Zoning and LUN masking in an iSCSI environment
  • How to scan your SAN
  • Tech roundup: Mirroring, zoning and imaging
  • Tech roundup: DR planning, LUN zoning, ATA vs. SATA

    Zoning for all: large or small

  • iSCSI, FC, zoning and speed
  • Tools for scanning and mapping the SAN
  • Should I set up persistent binding on HBAs
  • What's the best way to do zoning in a small scale environment?
  • Zoning in a large scale SAN
  • Proper zoning for a large SAN environment


  • How to troubleshoot SANs using WWN zoning
  • Changing zone settings online
  • SAN implementation and the WWN

    Management made simple for your heterogenous environment
    Zoning lets certain devices access the right storage and applications and it can also deny them access to other storage devices and applications. In addition, it lets you run multiple operating systems, applications and devices across the same network. Below are tips to help you implement zoning in your heterogeneous storage environment.

  • Do SAN management tools help?
  • Tape, disk or both in a SAN environment
  • Zoning switches for tape
  • How many operating systems can a SAN handle?
  • Zoning different operating systems
  • Working with multiple operating systems on a single SAN
  • Unix and Windows: What's the best way to implement zoning?
  • What are the pros and cons of micro-zoning?
  • Unix and Windows, to zone or not to zone

    For safety's sake
    Another common reason for zoning is to keep your SAN -- and all of your data -- secure. By allowing or denying access to certain areas of your SAN, zoning provides an additional layer of security. What's more, it can also help eliminate a single point of failure in your storage environment. Here are commonly asked questions and answers about zoning for the purposes of providing protection.

  • Is your SAN secure?
  • Masking and zoning for SAN security
  • Why port zoning is more secure
  • How LUN zoning comes into play
  • The dangers of relying solely on LUN masking

  • Dig Deeper on SAN technology and arrays

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