Browse Prior Art Database

Fabric Zoning Refresh Bypass Disclosure Number: IPCOM000191427D
Original Publication Date: 2010-Jan-04
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2010-Jan-04
Document File: 2 page(s) / 35K

Publishing Venue



Disclosed is a method to efficiently determine the validity of fabric zoning key reference string format for fabric operations for to handle transitions between different fabric agent versions.

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Fabric Zoning Refresh Bypass

Storage Resource Management (SRM) applications, such as the Tivoli Storage Productivity Center (TPC), often include features for collecting fabric zoning details, displaying the fabric zoning details to the user, and allowing the user to modify the zoning on the fabric. When

performing these modifications, SRM applications typically use references to the logical zoning

entities (zonesets, zones, etc) following a precise format rather than simply supplying the entity name (such as the Zone Name). For example, if the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S) standard is used for zone control, then the references, "CIMObjectPaths", to these logical zoning entities are required for all zone control operations.

The simplest approach available to an SRM is to collect the complete set of zoning entities and CIMObjectPaths at the beginning of each zone control session. The obvious drawback to such an approach is that collecting this information may take several minutes (or longer), forcing the SRM user to wait a significant length of time between trying to initiate a zone control session and actually being able to do so.

A basic alternative approach is to have the SRM collect the required information at regularly scheduled intervals (aka: "probes"), storing it locally and depending upon this local copy when an SRM user initiates a zone control session.

This alternative, however, does not handle the common scenario in which zoning definitions may have been changed prior to the last SRM probe via another tool or application, thus meaning that the SRM's local information is no longer valid. In many environments, the SRM would receive notifications of these changes and an automatic probe could be issued to refresh the local information, but this is not necessarily true in all environments nor in all situations due to many

possible complications (such as firewalls).

In order to allow SRM applications to avoid falling back to the time-consuming simple approach, some fibre channel switch vendors provide a single value, a "checksum", to represent their zoning configuration. SRM applications are thus able to collect this checksum during a

probe and can compare the local checksum with the latest value from the fabric in order to

determine if the local zoning information is still accurate or if a full refresh (ie: a new probe) is required.

However, a...