Soft zoning is zoning which is implemented in software.
Soft zoning uses filtering implemented in fibre channel switches to prevent ports from being seen from outside of their assigned zones. The security vulnerability in soft zoning is that the ports are still accessible if the user in another zone correctly guesses the fibre channel address.
Soft zone concept is that the enforcement relies on the WWN of the node in the fabric.
Soft Zoning means that the FC switch will place a host WWN in a zone, without dealing with the port numbers they’re connected to in the FC switch.
Pros and Cons
You can Connect to any port on the switch
you will need to know to which port the host is connected to for maintenance purposes
It’s possible that a hacker will attempt to spoof WWN
Hard zoning is zoning which is implemented in hardware.
Hard zoning physically blocks access to a zone from any device outside of the zone.
Usually hard zoning is used when using VLANs. You would associate a port into a zone