VMware Solutions Discussions

NetApp - FC Alias & VMWare


Hi guys,

I have recently started working with my NetApp SAN and VMWare 4 U3 environment. One thing I have found frustrating whilst troubleshooting is the use of WWNN/WWPN between the various components i.e. ESX hosts, FC Switch, HP virtual connect, NetApp filer. Particularly when looking at the MPIO paths on the ESX hosts it is not intuitive which head/port on a clustered filer you are looking at. Is there any way of giving these WWNN/WWPN an alias at the ESX host? I can do this on my Core Cisco MDS switch using the fcalias command which is designed for this exact purpose. It would make troubleshooting dead paths etc. so much easier!

Thanks in advance.



I've been in that boat too.  If you have vCenter which I'm sure you do, take a look at the Virtual Storage Console.  This may help resolve any problems that you may be looking at that stuff for in the first place.  Also, if you can install OnCommand Data Fabric Manager that will help keep LUNs, controllers, ESX, VMs.... all of it straight except your WWWNs.  Sorry, I can't offer anything better than that.


Thanks Daniel,

I hadn't even looked at Data Fabric Manager. Will do now.


OnCommand Insight Assure/Plan/Perform (formerly SANscreen) can pull in your Cisco configs, NetApp and VMware configs, and show all the interrelationships, along with covering a lot more use cases. Meaning, for a given ESX host, it will show you what NetApp ports it is zoned to, what paths to LUNs exist, etc. For a storage array, the ports microview will show the "friendly" name for ports, as well as having the WWPN/WWNN for each.


Thanks for the reply,

I was wondering though if there was any way to do this natively i.e. have the aliases appear in the vi client?


Thanks for the replies guys. I'll look at this software but was hoping there was something that could be done at the ESX side as I used other vendors SANs also such a HP EVA. I wish there was an industry standard for SAN topolgy discovery and aliasing. It would make life so much easier!


To make things a *bit* easier, different vendors use different prefixes, so quite often it is not that hard to identify which WWN belongs to which array.

As far as I can tell NetApp ones should look this:





Hi Radek,

You are right of course. In my enviroment though I may have a single ESX hosts connected to 4 different heads and 8 different cards. Would be great if you could enter WWNN/PN aliases into a config file and have a tab in vCenter that converts the data seen on the HBA link to the aliases, Would be great for logical diagrams etc.



You can set FC aliases on NetApp, but I don't think this is doable on ESX host  (http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere4/r41/vsp_41_san_cfg.pdf)



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