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Cisco MDS 9000 and IBM FICON: Just Got Married Again

We know humans prefer to celebrate. The marriage date represents a substantial one for most couples and there’s a custom to celebrate again, if with less fanfare actually, upon reaching a particular quantity of years together. Comes from a historical German tradition apparently, gleam symbolic name to represent how ago the marriage occurred long. For instance, the golden wedding ceremony indicates 50 many years of marriage.

Cisco MDS 9000 IBM and collection mainframe FICON haven’t reached that degree yet. The original date for your wedding had been in 2004, and 2020 marks 16 yrs, assuming my math isn’t wrong. There exists a name because of this, despite not really popularly used. It really is called ivy wedding ceremony….but don’t ask me why.

IBM originally announced FICON stations for the S/390 system in-may of 1998. Since that time, FICON has progressed from 1 Gbit to the 16 Gbit FICON Convey16S channels, in January 2015 with the IBM Techniques z13 announced. Each generation of FICON channels offered increased capacity and performance. Initially, the FC-SB-2 Fibre Channel upper-level process (ULP) was utilized by FICON. Because the name implies, an individual byte (SB) link deal with was utilized to specify the change interface on the director, out of a variety of 00-255. It supported key functions like native FICON storage space devices, channel-to-channel connections, FICON directors (or switches), and much more. But it didn’t enable switched paths over several directors. In 2003, with the intro of a improved and new ULP, this limitation was taken out. Actually, FC-SB-3 employs a double byte address. Funny sufficient, than changing the title from SB to DB instead, it was made a decision to instead modify the version, increasing its amount from 2-3 3. This has been the start of cascaded FICON. Two directors per material, referred to as single-hop cascading also, became possible since that time. Recently multi-hop cascading provides been qualified and contains exposed new deployment choices. Fibre Channel Single-Byte-4 (FC-SB-4) regular implemented in 2008 and accounted for a large step forward with regards to performance, by decreasing FICON channel overhead with the launch of the high-functionality FICON for Program Z (zHPF). A couple of years afterwards, FC-SB-5 had been standardized and in 2020 work continues to be happening for the FC-SB-6 regular and new enhancements are expected. Meanwhile, brand new routing schemas attended along, specifically FICON Powerful Routing (FIDR), generating an exchange-based routing design (OXID-based routing). In the mean time, the mainframe gained improved monitoring features for switching gadgets with a revamped edition of the CUP process.

As the process and the topologies have evolved as time passes just, the same holds true for requirements, anticipations, and underlying hardware items. Cisco MDS 9000 collection has completed probably the most stringent tests and validation workout just, successfully receiving its newest FICON qualification letter and will be on the IBM reference link page (sign up is required to access this site): https://www-01.ibm.com/servers/resourcelink/lib03020.nsf/pages/switchesAndDirectorsQualifiedForIbmSystemZRFiconRAndFcpChannels?OpenDocument&tab=cisco

With software version, NX OS 8.4(2b), Cisco MDS 9710, MDS 9706, and MDS 9250we and their IBM c-type counterpart possess renewed their acceptance for used in mainframe conditions with the entire feature set. This is a great accomplishment, putting Cisco MDS 9000 collection at the biggest market of customers’ preferences with regards to both Fibre and FICON Channel switching. Specifically, the brand new certification adds assistance for:

  • IBM Dietary fiber Channel Endpoint Safety
  • CUP Diagnostics
  • Assistance for z/OS wellness checker
  • 16G and 32G ELW optics for prolonged reach on dark dietary fiber

Cisco NX OS 8.4(2b) release notes are available here: Cisco MDS 9000 Series Release Notes, Release 8.4(2b)

Please join us from the party once we again congratulate the newlyweds as soon as.

Additionally, desire to learn why and what of IBM and Cisco partnership (and the chemistry in between them), Click here

And if you are looking at knowing the (technical) known reasons for this type of steady and solid partnership, here they are

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