Brocade – FiberChannel zoning with CLI

When having todo zoning in Brocade world you still have to use an old java GUI client. Not always easy to open the GUI since not all Brocade switches have been updated and therefore all kinds of java security will prevent you from doing your job. With CLI we can skip the GUI and get to business instant.

CLI config does also have the great advantage to be sort of self-documentation 🙂 Here we will look a bit into doing what I would call basic zoning. A new device has been added to your fiber channel fabric and you need to create a zone for the new WWN and the storage system.

Adding ssh key

This is, in my opinion, a good thing to set up, makes it way easier for you to log in the next time. Off-cause is not optional, but a great advantage.

The public ssh key is gathered from a system that allows SSH-based logins. See below for info on how to set it up.

SAN-SW-03:admin> sshutil importpubkey
Enter user name for whom key is imported:admin
Enter IP address:
Enter remote directory:/home/username
Enter public key name(must have .pub suffix)
Enter login name:username
username@'s password: 
public key is imported successfully.

Create alias

Below you first see the syntax, and afterward the actual command used in production.

# Syntax
alicreate “ALIAS_NAME”, “WWPN”

# Production command
alicreate "dc2esxmgmt1_11", "50:01:43:80:31:80:50:98"

Create zone

# Syntax
zonecreate "ZONE_NAME", "WWPN_alias_1;WWPN_alias_2"

# Production command
zonecreate "dc2storv5030_dc2esxmgmt1_11", "dc2esxmgmt1_11;dc2storv5030_01_01_p1v;dc2storv5030_01_01_p2v;dc2storv5030_01_02_p1v;dc2storv5030_01_02_p2v"

Add zone to config

cfgadd “fabric1”,”dc2storv5030_dc2esxmgmt1_11"

SAN-SW-03:admin> cfgsave
The changes you are attempting to save will render the
Effective configuration and the Defined configuration
inconsistent. The inconsistency will result in different
Effective Zoning configurations for switches in the fabric if
a zone merge or HA failover happens. To avoid inconsistency
it is recommended to commit the configurations using the
'cfgenable' command.

Do you want to proceed with saving the Defined
zoning configuration only?  (yes, y, no, n): [no] yes
Updating flash ...

Enable new config

SAN-SW-03:admin> cfgenable fabric1 
You are about to enable a new zoning configuration.
This action will replace the old zoning configuration with the
current configuration selected. If the update includes changes 
to one or more traffic isolation zones, the update may result in  
localized disruption to traffic on ports associated with
the traffic isolation zone changes.
Do you want to enable 'fabric1' configuration  (yes, y, no, n): [no] yes
zone config "fabric1" is in effect
Updating flash ...


It’s easy to do basic fiber channel zoning. The only thing that I miss from the GUI, and haven’t found yet, is a view to see all discovered WWN and then choose the WWN to the new alias you create. The server management system, in this case, shows the WWN name of the FC adapter and it’s easy to copy-paste into CLI commands.

So if you don’t have HPE OneView or some other fancy FC provisioning tool then you know how a basic and lowkey way of doing it.

And again, did I mention that when using CLI it basically document itself? 😉

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Jesper Ramsgaard