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On-Demand Webcast: Fibre Channel Zoning Basics

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  • Ed Mazurek – Cisco
  • John Rodrigues – Brocade
  • J Metz – Cisco

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In this back-to-basics Fibre Channel webinar, we talk about one of the most fundamental functions of the protocol and what makes it so reliable, predictable and secure: Zoning. The ability to separate and isolate traffic into its own channel, undisturbed by other traffic, is part of what makes Fibre Channel so powerful. The ability to secure those connections in zones adds built-in security to the connections.

In this webinar, you’ll find out:

  • What is Zoning
  • Why you’d want to Zone
  • The Different Types of Zoning
  • Consequences of Zoning
  • Zoning best practices for different types of applications


  • Yamini Shastry, Viavi Solutions
  • David Rodgers, Teledyne LeCroy
  • Joe Kimpler, ATTO Technology

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In the FCIA webcast “Protocol Analysis for High-Speed Fibre Channel Fabrics” experts covered the basics on protocol analysis tools and how to incorporate them into the “best practices” application of SAN problem solving.

Our experts return for this 201 course which will provide a deeper dive into how to interpret the output and results from the protocol analyzers. We will also share insight into using signal jammers and how to use them to correlate error conditions to be able to formulate real time solutions.

Root cause analysis requirements now encompass all layers of the fabric architecture, and new storage protocols that usurp the traditional network stack (i.e. FCoE, iWARP, NVMe over Fabrics, etc.) complicate analysis, so a well-constructed “collage” of best practices and effective and efficient analysis tools must be developed. In addition, in-depth knowledge of how to decipher the analytical results and then determine potential solutions is critical.

Join us for a deeper dive into Protocol Analysis tools and how to interpret the analytical output from them. We will review:

  • Inter switch links (ISL) – How to measure and minimize fabric congestion
  • Post-capture analysis – Graphing, Trace reading, Performance metrics
  • Benefits of purposeful error injection
  • More Layer 2-3 and translation layers debug
  • Link Services and Extended Link Services – LRR Link Ready Rests
Patty Driever – IBM
Howard Johnson – Broadcom
Joe Kimpler – ATTO Technologies

Click here to download a PDF of the webcast slides
Click here to view the webinar
Click here to view the Q&A Blog

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.  The FCIA FICON 101 webcast described some of the key characteristics of the mainframe and how FICON satisfies the demands placed on mainframes for reliable and efficient access to data. FCIA experts gave a brief introduction into the layers of architecture (system/device and link) that the FICON protocol bridges.

Using the FICON 101 session as a springboard, our experts dive deeper into the architectural flow of FICON and how it leverages Fibre Channel to be an optimal mainframe transport, discussing:

  • Brief review of FICON 101 concepts
  • How FICON (FC-SB-x) maps onto the Fibre Channel FC-2 layer
  • The evolution of the FICON protocol optimizations
  • How FICON adapts to new technologies
Dean Wallace – Marvell Technology Group
Barry Maskas – HPE

Click here to download a PDF of the webcast slides
Click here to view the webinar
Q&A Blog coming soon!

Fibre Channel’s speed roadmap defines a well-understood technological trend: the need to double the bit rate in the channel without doubling the required bandwidth.

In order to do this, PAM4 (pulse-amplitude modulation, with four levels of pulse modulation), enters the Fibre Channel physical layer picture. With the use of four signal levels instead of two, and with each signal level corresponding to a two-bit symbol, the standards define 64GFC operation while maintaining backward compatibility with 32GFC and 16GFC.

This advanced technical session will cover the T11 standards which define 64GFC serial Fibre Channel, backwards speed auto-negotiation compatibility, and compatible form factors:
•New physical layer and specification challenges for PAM4, which includes eye openings, crosstalk sensitivity, and new test methodologies and parameters
•Transceivers, their form factors, and how 64GFC maintains backward compatibility with multi-mode fibre cable deployments in the data center, including distance specifications
•Discussion of protocol changes, and an overview of backward-compatible link speed and forward error correction (FEC) negotiation
•The FCIA’s Fibre Channel speed roadmap and evolution, and new technologies under consideration

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 2019, and Fibre Channel continues to remain the premier storage fabric connectivity protocol in today’s data centers. Fibre Channel is deployed by thousands of customers in their data centers around the world and 80–90% of all All-Flash storage arrays are connected to servers via Fibre Channel. Customers have recently made a considerable investment in Gen 6 (32GFC), and given the 4-5-year depreciation cycle, this equipment will continue to run critical business applications requiring reliable, fast and scalable storage infrastructure….

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2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA). In July of 1999, it was announced the non-profit organizations FCA (Fibre Channel Association) and FCLC (Fibre Channel Loop Community) would merge, forming what is now known as the FCIA….

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Potentially, the only technology pronounced dead more often than Fibre Channel is tape, yet both are alive and well. In 2018, the Fibre Channel (FC) market saw a return to growth…

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Fibre Channel is a serial point-to-point protocol that transfers a ton of data super reliably using light over fibre cables. Data is transferred from one port to another from the initiator port on the server to the destination port on the storage array….

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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, showing the past, present and future of the Fibre Channel physical layer….

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Despite the push for Ethernet adoption in the Media and Entertainment industry, Fibre Channel storage network connectivity remains an essential enabler of today’s content creation and media workflows…

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Fibre Channel is a purpose-built and proven storage network designed to meet the demands of enterprise data centers that require high availability, low latency, extreme reliability and seamless scalability…

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Latest News

FICON – Well, Isn’t that Special?

Patty Driever, IBM Corporation, Howard Johnson, Broadcom Corporation Since its introduction in 1994, Fibre Channel has become well recognized as the leading technology choice for storage attachment - it [...]

Fibre Channel SAN Automation and Orchestration

Rupin Mohan, Director R&D and CTO Storage Networking, HPE The IT world is moving toward Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure. Customers in large numbers are choosing applications that need to be [...]

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