SAN - naming conventions

Published 26 August 2002

More options


Authors: Jon Tate


SAN disciplines - naming conventions


Here are some important factors for using and developing naming conventions in a SAN:

Naming conventions
Use of descriptive naming conventions is one of the most important factors in
a successful SAN. Good naming standards will improve problem diagnostics,
reduce human error, allow for the creation of detailed documentation and
reduce the dependency on individuals.

Typically, servers will already have some form of naming standard in place.
The local server name is typically used as the host name defined to the disk
system. For the ESS you would normally use the server name in the server
description field. The same local server name can be used within the switch
fabric for zone settings, and whenever possible the use of the server name
should be consistent throughout the SAN.

SAN fabric cabinets should be labeled to adhere with local site standards.

SAN fabric components
A good naming convention for the SAN fabric component should be able to
tell you the physical location, component type, have a unique identifier and
give a description of what it connects to. The following are some descriptor
fields that may be considered when designing a fabric naming convention. If
your SAN only has one vendor type or only one cabinet, the name could be a
lot simpler.

Component description
This should describe the fabric component and the product vendor (for mixed
vendor environments) which will help you locate the management interface
and the component number within the SAN. For example, to give it a unique
identifier you may want to use something similar to the following:

  • Type — Switch (S) Director (D) Gateway (G) Hub (H) Router (R)
  • Vendor — Brocade (B) INRANGE (I) McDATA (M) Vicom (V)
  • Number — 1 - 99

For example, the third Brocade Switch in cabinet one would be:
  • S3 B

Connection description
This should detail what the component is connecting to. For highly available
devices such as the ESS, it is important to understand which cluster side of
the device the component is connected to. This will help prevent potential
mistakes in the SAN design. For devices used to expand the SAN that do not
connect to disk or tape, we will simply identify them as cascade.
  • Connection — Disk (D (for ESS either cluster A or B)), Tape (T), Cascade (C)
  • Number — 1 - 99

To continue our example, the third Brocade Switch in cabinet one connecting
to ESS3 Cluster A would be:
  • S3 B D3A

Physical location
This may be the cabinet descriptor field and, for example, SAN cabinet one
could be C1. For our example this would give us:
  • S3 B D3A C1

We show how our name is developed in the figure below.

This image shows how the naming convention was developed

Special Notices

This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a client responsibility and depends upon the client's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the client's operational environment.

Follow IBM Redbooks

Follow IBM Redbooks