When I first started studying for my CCIE Storage certification, I never could have imagined just how complex you can get with the Cisco MDS and at the same time just how feature rich the MDS switches are. The same could be said before I became a R&S CCIE. I would log into switches configured by others and basically just see a very basic switch config. Maybe at the most I would see an NTP config, a couple VLAN’s and some trunking. With routers it was more common to see misconfigurations than even an intermediate configuration. I talk to some storage engineers today that basically do a alot of magic networking, that is they just plug everything in, default zone permit, or at best make a few zones, and they are done with the switch! Usually its the same type of people that say the MDS is “complicated”. They will go into their storage processor, LUN mask off the storage they want, and be on their way.
A lot of people will think that since you typically have two switches, dual LRC’s, dual ESH’s, dual HBA’s, dual everything, that you really don’t have to put much thought into doing anything wizbang on the infrastructure, but those people are really missing a critical part of the complete storage network design.
Attached is a configuration off one of my MDS switches in my lab, after I have finished configuring a complex topology. I am using the IEMentor Lab books for preparation which i highly recommend. This should just give you an idea of some of the technologies you can configure and expect to possibly see on a CCIE lab. Since this is just one switch, there may be many technologies I just didn’t configure on this switch, but it at least gives you a sample.