N Port ID Virtualization

What Does N Port ID Virtualization Mean?

N_port ID virtualization (NPIV) is a technique that enables the sharing of a single fiber channel N_port between multiple N_ports. It is used in storage networking techniques that utilize fiber channel-based ports to send and receive data between virtual machines (VM) and virtual storage area networks (SAN).

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NPIV is a component of the Fiber Channel Link Services (FC-LS) specification.

Techopedia Explains N Port ID Virtualization

NPIV is used in virtual storage area networks (VSAN) that reside on a consolidated physical SAN server with limited fiber channel ports. NPIV allows a fiber channel and physical host bus adapter (HBA) port to be used with one or more worldwide port names (WWPN). These WWPNs are actually virtual WWPNs, each associated with a specific VSAN or VM.

The NPIV is typically implemented by the VM monitor or VSAN application that manages all the data communication ports of the consolidated SAN.

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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…