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I'm hoping that this will be useful for more people than just me.

Right now I've got a fibre channel switch, a NetApp filer, and some servers running Oracle. All of the servers can see the same LUNs on the filer, and there's some internal clustering magic to keep them from stomping over each other's disk. The switch is zoned such that each server is in its own zone with the disks it can see. Thus, something like this:

Zone1 = {Oracle1, NetApp1, NetApp2}
Zone2 = {Oracle2, NetApp1, NetApp2}
Zone3 = {Oracle3, NetApp1, NetApp2}

(Those are soft zones based on WWN). My question is, is this the best way to do things, or would be be better to have one zone for all the things that share resources?

Zone1 = {Oracle1, Oracle2, Oracle3, NetApp1, NetApp2}

It seems to me like those are the same thing, but maybe there's something I don't know about? It looks like a little less management overhead to do it this way. Not a lot, but a little.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Best-practice is to keep things as you have them instead of one-big-zone. It makes it easier to pull things out. Also, depending on your hardware support (I don't know NetApp so I don't know if this applies to them) you might want to split your zones further:

Zone1A - {Oracle1, NetApp1}
Zone1B - {Oracle1, NetApp2}

The idea being that your storage devices shouldn't see each-other unless they have to again, that may not be a concern for NetApp. You're doing quite well as you are.

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Yep, totally with you, keep zones as small as is reasonable. – Chopper3 Jan 25 '11 at 22:29
Can you explain how it makes it easier to pull things out? You mean because I can just delete a zone instead of editing one? – Bill Weiss Jan 27 '11 at 18:54
Also, the NetApp evidently deals with seeing itself, since I'm up and running :) – Bill Weiss Jan 27 '11 at 18:54
@BillWeiss Part of the problem is other hosts seeing each other. One Big Zone has everyone seeing everything, but individual 1:1 zones means each host only sees storage and nothing else. This is handy if one host throws a loop-reset, it doesn't affect everything else. – sysadmin1138 Jan 27 '11 at 19:34
Ok, that makes sense. My problem seems to be thinking "oh, these are kind of like VLANs, I know those". I should stop that :) – Bill Weiss Jan 28 '11 at 3:02

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