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Home 2018-09-17T14:09:44+00:00


Barry Maskas, HPE; Tim Sheehan, University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab; David Rodgers, Teledyne LeCroy

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Click here for the Q&A Blog

Interoperability is a primary basis for the predictable behavior of a Fibre Channel (FC) SAN. FC interoperability implies standards conformance by definition. Interoperability also implies exchanges between a range of products, or similar products from one or more different suppliers, or even between past and future revisions of the same products. Interoperability may be developed as a special measure between two products, while excluding the rest, and still be standards conformant. When a supplier is forced to adapt its system to a system that is not based on standards, it is not interoperability but rather, only compatibility.

Every FC hardware and software supplier publishes an interoperability matrix and per product conformance based on having validated conformance, compatibility, and interoperability. There are many dimensions to interoperability, from the physical layer, optics, and cables; to port type and protocol; to server, storage, and switch fabric operating systems versions; standards and feature implementation compatibility; and to use case topologies based on the connectivity protocol (F-port, N-Port, NP-port, E-port, TE-port, D-port).

In this session we will delve into the many dimensions of FC interoperability, discussing:

• Standards and conformance
• Validation of conformance and interoperability
• FC-NVMe conformance and interoperability
• Interoperability matrices
• Multi-generational interoperability
• Use case examples of interoperability

Patty Driever – IBM
Howard Johnson – Broadcom Limited

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FICON (Fibre Channel Connection) is an upper-level protocol supported by mainframe servers and attached enterprise-class storage controllers that utilize Fibre Channel as the underlying transport.  Mainframes are built to provide a robust and resilient IT infrastructure, and FICON is a key element of their ability to meet the increasing demands placed on reliable and efficient access to data.  What are some of the key objectives and benefits of the FICON protocol?  And what are the characteristics that make FICON relevant in today’s datacenters for mission-critical workloads?

In this webcast you’ll learn:

  • The world of the mainframe
  • The characteristics of mainframe I/O and FICON architecture
  • Key features and benefits of FICON
Mark Jones – Broadcom Limited
Greg McSorley – Amphenol Corporation
Zach Nason – Data Center Systems

Click here to download a PDF of the webcast slides
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Questions & Answers blog coming soon

Looking for more cost-effective ways to implement fibre channel cabling? At this webcast you will learn why proper cabling is important and how it fits into data center designs. FCIA experts discuss:

  • Cable and connector types, cassettes, patch panels and other cabling products
  • Variables in Fiber Optic and Copper Cables: Reflectance, Insertion Loss, Crosstalk, Speed/Length Limitations and more
  • Different variations of Structured Cabling in an environment with FC
  • Helpful tips when planning and implementing a cabling infrastructure within a SAN
  • Data center infrastructure layout examples

Roadmap Illustration

Fibre Channel has a laser-focus on speed and continues to progress at a blistering pace. Fibre Channel is continually evolving to higher speeds to meet the high bandwidth needs of storage applications. When large blocks of data are moved between servers and storage, the performance of the application is directly dependent on how fast the data can fly. The storage industry has come to rely on Fibre Channel to deliver superior performance and reliability for mission-critical applications.

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Fibre Channel is at the heart of the data center connecting servers to storage, and relied upon for the most strenuous workloads. For example, Fibre Channel is deployed in many high-end applications in financial and governmental institutions where reliability and scalability are paramount. Fibre Channel consistently delivers greater than “five 9s” or 99.999% uptime as measured by vendors and customers in data center deployments worldwide. Fibre Channel storage area networks are often completely redundant to ensure constant service and uncorrupted data without single points of failure.

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Solutions Guide

It’s 2018, and Fibre Channel continues to remain the dominant SAN fabric protocol in today’s data centers. Fibre Channel is deployed in 90 percent of the Fortune 1000 data centers in the world and 80 – 90 percent of all All-Flash storage arrays are connected to servers via Fibre Channel. The fact that Fibre Channel was built from the ground up, and with an intense focus on enterprise storage array connectivity, gives the technology a unique edge over other networking technologies in terms of rock-solid reliability, unmatched performance and massive scalability…

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The heart and soul of any technology, and the industry association that stewards the technology, is its technology roadmap. Just like the term suggests, a roadmap shows not just the history of a technology, but also is a guide to where it is going and when it is going to get there…

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When companies invest in a technology, they want to know that they will get a return on their investment for years to come. Fibre Channel has had a very accurate roadmap for over a decade and this document shows the past, present and future of the Fibre Channel physical layer. Fibre Channel has been progressing since 1996 by doubling the data rate every few years and this roadmap shows that the progression will continue far into the future. Fibre Channel continues to outpace other physical layer technologies like Ethernet and will continue to surpass them in speed…

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The availability of the NVMe standard has radically changed the landscape for solid-state storage, driving commoditization of the media along with aggressive competition for density and performance. This media revolution is causing a secondary pair of disruptions in the storage array space. The first disruption is the move toward NVMe-based SSDs (rather than SAS- or SATA-based SSDs) as the media of choice on the All-Flash array back end. The second disruption is a move toward NVMe over Fabrics, and particularly NVMe over Fibre Channel, as the emerging high-performance protocol for accessing enterprise storage…

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The IT world is moving toward Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure. Customers in large numbers are choosing applications that need to be deployed on premise but need some interactions and/or compute/data mobility with the cloud. Most tech savvy IT managers are aware of pros and cons of on-prem versus the cloud. Tier 0 and tier 1 applications with sensitivity to application up-time, failover disaster recovery, storage replication requirements continue to be deployed on premise in order to reduce business risk. Cost of downtime for most businesses continues to be very high. The cloud has certainly…

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Since its introduction in 1994, Fibre Channel has become well recognized as the leading technology choice for storage attachment – it delivers superior scale, reliability, dependability and manageability. That much is pretty obvious. What’s not so obvious is that in the late 1990s, when Fibre Channel was evolving, the S/390 mainframe architects realized that this technology would provide an excellent “next” underlying transport for mainframe I/O, replacing the technology being used at that time known as ESCON…

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The choice between using Fibre Channel (FC) or other protocols is dictated by several factors, one of them being whether a dedicated SAN is required and/or desirable. Ethernet SANs are implemented in the context of a converged network or at the minimum sharing of switch ports for multiple use cases. Although, we see a rampant use of dedicated iSCSI fabrics also. FC networks are always utilized as dedicated SANs. For some use cases a dedicated SAN is not an option. In others, the mission critical nature of the application alone justifies a dedicated SAN…

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Latest News

Broadcom, NetApp, and VMware Among the First to Demonstrate End-to-end NVMe over Fibre Channel with vSphere

Streamlined solution for enterprise on-premises SAN customers; leverages VMware’s standard management tools & current SAN infrastructure SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Broadcom Inc. (NASDAQ:AVGO), NetApp, and VMware [...]

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