Wednesday, May 09, 2007

NPort ID Virtualization

Aaron wrote:

What do I do all day at the office? Lately, I've been working on adding NPort ID Virtualization (NPIV) to our Leadville FibreChannel stack.

At a high level, you can think of NPIV as allowing one physical FibreChannel HBA to log in multiple times to the SAN, and so you have many virtual HBAs.

Why is this interesting?

The first thing I thought of when I heard about this is hypervisor applications, like Xen. If you have one world wide name per DOMU (in Xen terminology), you can do the same zoning/lun masking that you've always done per server, but this times it's per DOMU.

Another use is that if your HBA breaks, and you have to replace it, you can use the old WWN on the new HBA, and you won't have to rezone your SAN.

More details on NPIV.

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