What Does Zoning Mean?

Zoning is a fabric-based service in a storage area network (SAN) that groups together hosts and storage nodes that require communication. The essential requirement for performing zoning is that the nodes can communicate only if they are members of the same zone. Nodes can also be members of multiple zones, permitting flexibility while using the method.


Techopedia Explains Zoning

<div style="border-style: none; display: inline; "><p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify; ">Zoning deals with allocating resources in an SAN to load balance the device connected to the network. This allows network administrators to separate an SAN into different units and allocate storage to the specified units as required. It also protects the system from virus threats, malicious hackers and data corruption as devices in the specified zones do not communicate outside the zone through their ports unless permitted. Breaking a network into zones distributes the processing activity evenly across the network so that any given device is not overwhelmed. The load balance is important in networks where it is difficult to predict the number of requests that may be issued to the server.

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<p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify; ">Zoning not only stops a host from gaining unauthorized access to storage assets, but also prevents undesired host-to-host communication and fabric-wide registered change notification disruption. Hosting is managed by a fabric-name server and notifies end-devices of events in fabrics including when a storage node or switch goes offline.

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<p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: justify; "><st1:place w:st="on"><st1:placename w:st="on"><st1:placetype w:st="on">There are three types of zones:

  • Port zones
  • Mixed zones
  • Worldwide name zones

There are also two key types of zoning:

  • Hard zoning
  • Soft zoning
  • Broadcast zoning (not widely available)

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…