Zoning is the division of storage networks into subnetworks. In contrast to the segments of a local area network (LAN), the zones are self-sufficient and offer their own connection and addressing options for the FC switches
.A zone includes a group of ports that form a Virtual Storage Area Network (VSAN). Several zones together form a zone group. Such a group can be accessed across the entire storage network. ports that belong to a zone group can only communicate with each other. An FC switch or an FC-AL
can be assigned to several zones. Zoning protects against data loss and allows the dynamic assignment of storage network devices to a logical group or zone. A distinction is made between hardware-based and software-based zoning. With hardware-based zoning, all ports of an FC switch belong to one zone. With software-based zoning, the nodes or FC ports are assigned via the World Wide Name (WWN).