Sep 27

Configure switches successfully for IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric

Fabric and Switches Comments Off on Configure switches successfully for IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric

Introduction

IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric version 2 is a storage area network (SAN) management application that discovers devices in the SAN and displays a topology of the SAN environment. It is designed to operate using industry-based standards for communication with fibre channel switches and other SAN devices. This can be done using the simple network management protocol (SNMP) interface of out-of-band agents, the FC-GS-3 interface of in-band agents or a combination of both. FC-GS-3 refers to the Fibre Channel Generic Services 3 standard. In order for the information to be gathered and displayed as expected, the switches must be configured correctly. The configuration varies between vendors and whether in-band or out-of-band agents are used. One of the common sources of customer problems is incorrect configuration of the switches being managed. This leads to missing information and misconceptions that the IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric product does not work with certain switches. This document addresses the basic configuration requirements of the fibre channel switches supported by IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric. It is intended to help enable you to configure the switches for a high chance of success. The switch vendors covered by this document are Brocade, Cisco, CNT, McDATA and QLogic. Other vendors, such as IBM, often sell these switches under their own labels.

Configuration overview

With IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric in-band discovery, the agent software is installed on SAN-attached hosts. The agents collect information about the fabric across the fibre channel network by querying the switch and the attached devices through the host bus adapter (HBA) in the system. For the switches to successfully receive and respond to the queries, there are some basic requirements.

  • The switch must support the FC-GS-3 standard interface for discovery.
    • Name server
    • Configuration server
    • Unzoned name server
  • For zone control functions, the fabric zone server must be supported, except in the case of Brocade.

Fabric events are automatically sent from the agent to the Fabric Manager with in-band discovery. There is no need for configuration.

The switch configuration for in-band agents is typically much simpler than for out-of-band, although it requires more involvement on the host side with the HBA and agent software.

SNMP-based out-of-band discovery collects much of the same information that can be obtained in-band, but it does so differently. In out-of-band discovery, the Fabric Manager system queries the switch directly rather than going through a Fabric Agent and the fibre channel network. It does this using the SNMP protocol to send queries across the IP network to management information bases (MIBs) supported on the switch. IBM Total Storage Productivity Center for Fabric uses the FC Management MIB (sometimes referred to as the FA MIB) and the FE MIB. The queries are sent only to switches that have been added to IBM Total Storage Productivity Center for Fabric for use as SNMP agents. In order for the switch to successfully receive and respond to the query, there are some basic requirements.

  • The FC Management MIB and FE MIB must be enabled on the switch.
  • The switch must be configured to receive SNMPv1 queries and respond in SNMPv1. Some switches are configured to use SNMPv2 or SNMPv3 by default.
  • The community string configured in IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric must match one of the community strings configured on the switch with read access. Cisco switches must additionally have a community string match for write access. The default community strings in IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric are public for read access and private for write access. Refer to the IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric User’s Guidefor details on changing the strings. Additional community strings can be defined on the switches, but will not be used.
  • SNMP access control lists need to include the Fabric Manager system. Some automatically include all hosts while others exclude all by default.

Another aspect of the SNMP configuration includes trap notification. SNMP traps are generated by the switch and directed to IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric as an indication that something in the fabric has changed and that a discovery should occur to identify changes. The default configuration for handling switch traps is to send them from the switch to port 162 on the Microsoft® Windows® Fabric Manager system or the Windows Fabric Remote Console system. In this configuration, Tivoli® NetView® receives the traps and forwards them to port 9556 on the Fabric Manager system. The IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric User’s Guide discusses this and other possible trap flow options in further detail. For the successful generation and reception of traps, there are some configuration requirements.

  • The trap destination must be set. This is the host that receives the trap and sends it to Fabric Manager.
  • The destination port must be set. Tivoli NetView utilizes the Microsoft SNMP service that listens on port 162 by default.
  • The traps must be sent as SNMPv1.
  • The trap severity level should be set to generate traps in change conditions. This typically means to send error level traps and anything more severe.

Configuring these settings differs between switch vendors and models. Details for configuring the supported switches are provided. Additional settings that are vendor specific are also provided. The intent is to provide enough information to help you configure the switch so that IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric can use it. It is not intended to describe every feature available for configuration on the switches. If you are not familiar with the settings suggested, please refer to the vendor’s documentation for details about them. Although the settings can be done using a variety of management interfaces for the switches, most are described using commands from the command line interface (CLI), which can be accessed through a telnet session to the switch. For details about IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric support for specific models, refer to the device compatibility table available from the support Web site. See the Resources section for a link.

Brocade configuration

Brocade fibre channel switches are supported with IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric as out-of-band SNMP agents and through in-band discovery.

In-band FC-GS-3 configuration

Brocade switches should be configured with core Port_ID (PID) format (PID 1) to be used with IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric in-band agents. No other configuration is required. However, the platform management capabilities of the switch can be activated or deactivated. This potentially affects how some storage devices display in the topology. You can use the following commands from the switch CLI to view or change the PID and platform settings.

  • configShowShow the configuration settings selected on the switch.
    • Show the fabric.ops.mode.pidFormat value.
  • configureEnter into a guided switch configuration.
    • Set switch PID format to 1. It is located in the fabric parameters section.
  • msPlatShowShow which devices are registered with the platform database.
  • msPlCapabilityShowShow whether the switch is configured for platform support.
  • msPlMgmtActivateEnable the platform support on the switch.
  • msPlMgmtDeactivateDisable the platform support on the switch.
  • msPlClearDBRemove the currently registered platforms from the database.

Out-of-band SNMP configuration

Configuring a Brocade switch for out-of-band management addresses the basic items listed earlier. The following commands can be used from the switch CLI for configuration.

  • snmpMibCapSetSet the SNMP MIB capabilities on the switch. This is required for both discovery and traps. Enable the following MIBs
    • FE-MIB
    • FA-MIB
    • FA-TRAP or SW-TRAPInclude individual traps, if given the option. Additional traps can be enabled but should be carefully considered for their usefulness for invoking a discovery.
  • agtCfgShowShow the current SNMP configuration.
  • agtCfgSetSet the basic SNMP configuration.
    • Specify a read-only or read-write community string.
    • Specify an access control list that includes the Fabric Manager system. An ACL of 0.0.0.0 is default and will not restrict SNMP access from any host.
    • Set the trap destination address. Port 162 is used by default and cannot be configured.
    • A minimal trap severity level of 2 is recommended to include error and critical traps.
    • AuthTrapsEnabled is not a required option, but can be set.

Brocade switches should also be configured to use the core PID format when doing out-of-band SNMP discovery. See the configuration in the in-band section.

Cisco configuration

Cisco MDS 9000 family fibre channel switches are supported with IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric with in-band and out-of-band discovery.

In-band FC-GS-3 configuration

Cisco switches do not require special configuration to work with IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric in-band agents. However, in-band discovery is limited to virtual SANs (VSANs) with agents attached.

Out-of-band SNMP configuration

Configuring a Cisco switch for out-of-band management addresses the basic items listed earlier. Note that Cisco switches are configured to use SNMP v3 by default and must be reconfigured. VSAN information for the entire physical infrastructure is gathered. The following commands can be used from the switch CLI for configuration.

  • show snmpUse this command to view the current SNMP settings. The command can be made more specific to provide details on a particular SNMP setting, such as show snmp community or show snmp trap.
  • config terminalUse the above command to enter into configuration mode. The following commands are issued at the config prompt.
    • snmp-server community <string> roSet the read-only community string. It has network-administrator access by default.
    • snmp-server community <string> rwSet the read-write community string. This is necessary to make sure VSAN information gathered is not stale. It has network-administrator access by default.
    • snmp-sever community <string> group network-operatorSet the role for the community string. By setting it to network-operator, it is specifying to use the community string for SNMPv1 communication. If the community string is left with a role of network-administrator, discovery in IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric will not work.
    • snmp-sever host <address> traps version 1 <community> udp-port <number>Set the trap destination address so that it sends SNMPv1 traps. Specify the community defined earlier. Port 162 is the default listening port for the host.
  • snmp-sever enable trapUsed as specified above, this command enables all traps on the switch. The default enablement of traps on the switch is sufficient in most cases.

CNT configuration

CNT fibre cannel switches are supported with IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric with in-band and out-of-band discovery.

In-band FC-GS-3 configuration

CNT switches do not require special configuration to work with IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric in-band agents.

Out-of-band SNMP configuration

Configuring a CNT switch for out-of-band management addresses the basic items listed earlier. In addition, you must configure an SNMP Start Port option for CNT FC9000 directors. The CNT UMD does not require this. The information below describes setting the fields using CNT’s Enterprise Manager application. The steps differ between the FC9000 and UMD models.

  • FC9000
    • System Configuration Panel -> Configuration Type -> Network Option -> Trap/Manager Settings
      • Set trap address. Port 162 is used by default.
      • Trap authorization does not need to be checked.
      • SNMP Configuration should be enabled.
      • Set SNMP Start Port to 0. This is required to match the port numbering obtained out-of-band with Enterprise Manager and that obtained in-band.
      • Set the Fabric Manager system’s address for the SNMP manager IP.
      • Set a community string.
    • UMD
      • SNMP Configuration Panel
        • Set SNMP Access to Enabled.
        • Set the trap destination address. Port 162 is used by default.
        • Select SNMP v1 trap and check the Enabled box.
      • User Security
        • Configure an SNMP user in the Users tab.
        • Use SNMP Ver 1 for the user type.
        • Set the Fabric Manager system’s address in the IP address field.
        • Set a community string.

McDATA configuration

McDATA fibre channel switches are supported with IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric with both in-band and out-of-band discovery. There are some anomalies in this support for certain models. Refer to the IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric Support site for details.

In-band FC-GS-3 configuration

Configuring a McDATA switch for in-band management is different than for the other vendors. The McDATA switch has the ability to enable or disable support for the FC-GS-3 interface through their open systems management server (OSMS). It also has a security feature that allows it to enable or disable the ability for other hosts to make changes on the switch. These settings must be done on every switch in the fabric, not just the ones with Fabric Agents attached.

  • config openSysMSUse the above command to enter into the open systems management server configuration mode. The following commands are issued at the Config.OpenSysMS prompt.
    • setState EnableEnable OSMS on the switch.
    • setHostCtrlState EnableEnable the host control option on the switch. This allows the zone control functions of IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric to function with McDATA fabrics.

Out-of-band SNMP configuration

Configuring a McDATA switch for out-of-band management addresses the basic items listed earlier, but also has a unique concern. McDATA fabrics are typically on private networks. In order for out-of-band discovery to occur with IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric, the Fabric Manager system must have network connectivity directly to the switches. It cannot use the McDATA EFCM system instead. The following commands can be used from the switch CLI for configuration.

  • config snmpUse the above command to enter into SNMP configuration mode. The following commands are issued at the Config.SNMP prompt.
    • addCommunity <Index> <Name> <writeAuth> <trapRecip> <udpNum>Set the community string name and specify a destination address and port number. The options for writeAuth are Enabled or Disabled and either can be used. The index refers to the number of communities already defined.
  • show snmpView the current SNMP settings on the switch.
  • config securityUse the above command to enter into security configuration mode. The following commands are issued at the Config.Security prompt.
    • switchACL setState <Enabled|Disabled>The ACL is disabled by default, which does not restrict access from the Fabric Manager system.
  • show security switchACLView the current switch ACL settings.

QLogic configuration

QLogic fibre channel switches are supported with IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric with both in-band and out-of-band discovery.

In-band FC-GS-3 configuration

QLogic switches do not require any special configuration to work with IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric in-band agents.

Out-of-band SNMP configuration

Configuring a QLogic switch for out-of-band management addresses the basic items listed earlier. You must configure an additional ProxyEnabled option for QLogic switches. The following commands can be used from the switch CLI for configuration.

  • admin startEnter into administrative configuration mode.
  • set setup snmpEnter into a guided SNMP configuration utility where the following options can be configured.
    • Set SNMPEnabled option to true.
    • Set the trap destination addresses.
    • Set the trap destination ports. Port 162 is used.
    • Set the trap severity level to a minimum of error to include unknown, emergency, alert, critical and error level traps.
    • Set the trap version to 1so that SNMPv1 is used.
    • Set the trap to be enabled so that it will be generated.
    • Set the ReadCommunity to a string that matches what is used by IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric.
    • AuthFailureTrap can be set to either true or false.
    • Set ProxyEnabled to false when more than one switch exists in the fabric. If it is not, duplicate entries for the switches will appear in the topology view.

Conclusion

IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric is a powerful tool for managing SANs, but the switches must be configured properly. Incorrectly configured switches will cause the user to have missing information and think the product is working incorrectly. Since the configuration settings vary by vendor and model, this can be confusing. Using the configuration settings described in this article, the user will have a high chance of success when setting up IBM TotalStorage Productivity Center for Fabric to manage an environment.

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written by Bosse