On-Demand: The Making of Fibre Channel Standards
March 31, 2020

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On-Demand: Fibre Channel Scaling


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How Fibre Channel Standards are Made Blog Series

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Webcasts

Webcasts

Presenters:

  • Barry Maskas- HPE
  • Joe Kimpler- Independent Industry Expert

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We rely on technical standards for all facets of daily life. Yet it is easy to take technology standards for granted, forgetting that they underpin the technology used every day. As participants in the IT sector it is important for us to learn how standards are developed, why standards matter and how we all benefit from them.

In this webcast, we’ll pull back the curtain on the standard development process, explain what makes something a standard, and decode a few funky common acronyms. You’ll learn:

  • The differences between a standard and a specification
  • Who is INCITS and what’s their role?
  • T11 Fibre Channel standards development process
  • T11 Fibre Channel Standards
  • Current Fibre Channel standards under development
  • Benefits of standards when architecting Fibre Channel solutions

Presenters:

  • Barry Maskas- HPE
  • Nishant Lodha- Marvell
  • Mark Jones- Broadcom

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Click here to view the presentation slides.

Click here to read a Q&A Blog

Fibre Channel (FC) SAN workloads are not difficult, but there are several people who do not understand how the workloads line up to appropriate storage protocol and their characteristics. Different workloads have different “Fingerprints,” so to speak. Since FC SANs are block, they work very well with applications that have a lot of transactional data, a lot of random read/write loads, and are particularly good for virtual machine file systems.

This webinar will discuss:

  • I/O fingerprints: I/O block sizes & IOPS requirements for various “FC SAN applications”
  • An overview of application access patterns, guided by best practices and experience
  • How FC fulfills these IOPS requirements and how CPU BW is as important as IOPS

We will briefly investigate application sensitivity to latency, and show how protocol can affect performance.

Presenters:

  • Mark Rogov- Dell EMC
  • Brandon Hoff- Broadcom
  • J Metz – Cisco

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Click here to view the presentation slides.

One of Fibre Channel’s greatest strengths is its ability to scale to thousands and thousands of nodes, while providing predictable performance. So, when we say that Fibre Channel has unmatched scalability, what does that actually mean? And how does it work?

We often hear about “designed from the ground up,” but in this case it’s actually true. From each individual link, to the overall domain architecture, each step along the way is intended to be approached in a scalable fashion.

In this webinar, we’ll be breaking down the pieces of the puzzle that help give Fibre Channel its robustness when you’re working at fabrics even greater than 10,000 nodes. We’ll be talking about:

•What a deterministic storage network is
•Fabric management principles
•Negotiated credit transfers (buffer-to-buffer credits)
•Network Engineering/Design Principles
•Oversubscription and Fan-In Ratios
•Topologies that help scale
•Domains and Fabric limits
•Consistency of performance at scale

Along the way, we’ll be talking about some of the ways that Fibre Channel differs from other popular storage networks as they approach large-scale environments, and how it handles issues that arise in such cases.

Please join us on November 6th at 10:00 am PT/1:00 pm ET for another educational webinar on Fibre Channel!

Presenters:

  • Brandon Hoff- Broadcom
  • Nishant Lodha- Marvell
  • J Metz – Cisco

Click here to download a PDF of the webcast slides
Click here to view the webinar

Fibre Channel has long been known to be a very secure protocol for storage. The sheer variety of environments in which Fibre Channel fabrics are deployed makes it very difficult to simply rely only on physical security.

This webcast takes a deep into the guts of security aspects of Fibre Channel, looking closely at the protocols used to implement security in a Fibre Channel fabric, covering:

  • The definitions of the protocols to authenticate Fibre Channel devices
  • What are the different classes of threats, and what are the mechanisms to protect against them
  • What are session keys and how to set them up
  • How Fibre Channel negotiates these parameters to insure frame-by-frame integrity and confidentiality
  • How Fibre Channel establishes and distributes policies across a fabric

Presenters:

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

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

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

Presenters:

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

Click here to download a PDF of the webcast slides
Click here to view the webinar

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

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

Fibre Channel Industry Association Elects 2020 Board of Directors as Data Center Trends Drive Fibre Channel Adoption

Fibre Channel Industry Association Elects 2020 Board of Directors as Data Center Trends Drive Fibre Channel Adoption INCITS T11 Publishes Fibre Channel Physical Interface Standards, Speeding Development of 64GFC and [...]

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