For the NVMe over Fibre Channel protocol, you configure the switches and determine the host port identifiers.

Step 1: Configure the NVMe/FC switches

Configuring (zoning) the NVMe over Fibre Channel (FC) switches enables the hosts to connect to the storage array and limits the number of paths. You zone the switches using the management interface for the switches.

Before you begin

Make sure you have the following:

  • Administrator credentials for the switches.

  • The WWPN of each host initiator port and of each controller target port connected to the switch. (Use your HBA utility for discovery.)

A vendor’s HBA utility can be used to upgrade and obtain specific information about the HBA. Refer to the support section of the vendor’s website for instructions on how to obtain the HBA utility.
About this task

Each initiator port must be in a separate zone with all of its corresponding target ports. For details about zoning your switches, see the switch vendor’s documentation.

  1. Log in to the FC switch administration program, and then select the zoning configuration option.

  2. Create a new zone that includes the first host initiator port and that also includes all of the target ports that connect to the same FC switch as the initiator.

  3. Create additional zones for each FC host initiator port in the switch.

  4. Save the zones, and then activate the new zoning configuration.

Step 2: Determine the host ports WWPNs—​NVMe/FC VMware

To configure FC zoning, you must determine the worldwide port name (WWPN) of each initiator port.

  1. Connect to the ESXi host using SSH or the ESXi shell.

  2. Run the following command:

    esxcfg-scsidevs –a
  3. Record the initiator identifiers. The output will be similar to this example:

    vmhba3 lpfc link-up  fc.20000090fa05e848:10000090fa05e848 (0000:03:00.0)
    Emulex Corporation Emulex LPe16000 16Gb PCIe Fibre Channel Adapter
    vmhba4 lpfc link-up  fc.20000090fa05e849:10000090fa05e849 (0000:03:00.1)
    Emulex Corporation Emulex LPe16000 16Gb PCIe Fibre Channel Adapter

Step 3: Enable HBA drivers

Support for NVMe must be enabled within Broadcom/Emulex and Marvell/Qlogic HBA drivers.

  1. Execute one of the following commands from the ESXi shell:

    • Broadcom/Emulex HBA Driver

      esxcli system module parameters set -m lpfc -p "lpfc_enable_fc4_type=3"
    • Marvell/Qlogic HBA Driver

      esxcfg-module -s "ql2xnvmesupport=1" qlnativefc
  2. Reboot the host.

Step 4: Record your configuration

You can generate and print a PDF of this page, and then use the following worksheet to record NVMe over Fibre Channel storage configuration information. You need this information to perform provisioning tasks.

The illustration shows a host connected to a DE Series storage array in two zones. One zone is indicated by the blue line; the other zone is indicated by the red line. Each zone contains one initiator port and all target ports.

port identifiers host and target conf vmw

Host identifiers

Callout No. Host (initiator) port connections WWPN



not applicable


Host port 0 to FC switch zone 0


Host port 1 to FC switch zone 1

Target identifiers

Callout No. Array controller (target) port connections WWPN



not applicable


Array controller (target)

not applicable


Controller A, port 1 to FC switch 1


Controller A, port 2 to FC switch 2


Controller B, port 1 to FC switch 1


Controller B, port 2 to FC switch 2

Mapping host

Mapping host name

Host OS type