Let’s say you have a Dell PowerEdge M1000e chassis populated with Dell blade servers with CNAs. Let’s also assume you enable FCoE on the CNA and utilize it for LAN and SAN traffic.
What if you were to use the CNA port’s WWPN (World Wide Port Name) within your zoning configuration on a backend Fibre Channel switch? What would occur if the CNA adapter went bad and needed to be replaced? Well, you would have to manually change all configurations that reference the LAN MAC Address or FC WWPN. In this case, the zoning configuration would have to be updated. This is where Dell’s M1000e FlexAddressing technology can help.
The Dell PowerEdge M1000e chassis has a feature called FlexAddressing which allows for a virtual address (such as a virtual MAC address or a virtual WWPN) to be linked to a server; the CNA utilizes these virtual addresses, for example, for the MAC address and WWPN. Therefore, if the CNA adapter is changed later, zoning and other configuration on upstream switches does not need to be modified. Currently, FlexAddressing has a pool of 208 MACs and 64 WWNs that can be utilized.
FlexAddressing can be enabled through the Dell M1000e Chassis CMC GUI. Simply click on “Server Overview” on the left and then on the right, click on the ‘Setup’ tab and click ‘FlexAddress’. Here you can see if FlexAddressing for the respective server has been enabled. Once enabled, the virtual MAC address and WWPN will be pushed down to the CNA to use. Below is a screenshot.
Note that the FlexAddressing feature cannot be enabled/disabled while a server blade is powered on, so a reload of the blade server would be required to make a change. Below is a screenshot displaying some of the virtual addresses that have been created for the Dell M620 blade server in slot 2. You can reach this screen by clicking ‘Server Overview’ on the left and clicking the ‘Properties’ tab and then clicking on ‘WWN/MAC’.
Tags: Dell, Dell blade, Dell Blade Server, Dell M1000e chassis, Dell M1000e Chassis CMC, Dell M60 Blade server, Dell M620, Dell PowerEdge, Dell PowerEdge M1000e, Flex, FlexAddressing, FlexAddressing technology, FlexAddrress, M1000e, MAC address, PowerEdge, PowerEdge M1000e, virtual address, virtual MAC address, virtual World Wide Port Name, virtual WWPN, World Wide Port Name, WWPN, zoning