Zoning Brocade switches: creating aliases

In my previous Brocade post, I talked about Brocade zoning, and mentioned at a high level what is required to implement zoning. Prior to jumping in and creating one or more zones in your fabric, you should add aliases to describe the devices that are going to be zoned together. An alias is a descriptive name for a WWN or port number, which makes your zone configuration much easier to read (if you are the kinda person who can spout off the WWNs of all of the devices in your fabric, you can kindly ignore this post). Brocade switches come with a number of commands to manage aliases, and these commands start with the string “ali”:

aliCreate – Creates a new alias
aliDelete – Deletes an alias
aliRemove – Removes an entry from an alias
aliRename – Renames an existing alias
aliShow – Shows the aliases

To create a new alias, you will first need to locate the WWN(s) or port(s) you want to assign to the alias. The easiest way to do this is by running switchshow on the switch (you can also use the Emulex or QLogic host utilities to gather WWN information):

Fabric1Switch1:admin> switchshow

switchName:	Fabric1Switch1
switchType:	16.2
switchState:	Online   
switchMode:	Native
switchRole:	Principal
switchDomain:	1
switchId:	fffc01
switchWwn:	10:00:00:60:69:c0:32:a4
switchBeacon:	OFF
Zoning:      	ON (Brocade3200)
port  0: id N2 Online         F-Port 10:00:00:00:c9:3e:4c:eb
port  1: id N2 Online         F-Port 10:00:00:00:c9:3e:4c:ea
port  2: id N2 No_Light       
port  3: id N2 No_Light       
port  4: id N2 Online         F-Port 21:00:00:e0:8b:1d:f9:03
port  5: id N2 Online         F-Port 21:01:00:e0:8b:3d:f9:03
port  6: id N2 No_Light       
port  7: id N2 No_Light       

Once you know the port numbers or WWNs, you can run the alicreate command, passing it the name of the alias to create, as well as the port or WWN to associate with the alias (if you assign more than one port or WWN to the alias, they need to be separated with a semi-colon):

Fabric1Switch1:admin> alicreate “CentosNode2Port1”, “21:00:00:e0:8b:1d:f9:03”

After an alias is created, you can view it with the alishow command:

Fabric1Switch1:admin> alishow “CentosNode2Port1”
alias: CentosNode2Port1

If you make a typo while adding a WWN or port to an alias, you can run aliadd to add the correct WWN or port to the alias, and then execute aliremove to remove the entry that was incorrectly added. If you make a typo in the alias name, you can run alirename to rename the entry. That is all for today. In my next blog post, I will talk about how to create zones.

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