Today's post will expand upon my last post, specifically for the newly announced IBM System Storage SAN42B-R. IBM announced the System Storage SAN42B-R on 25 November. The SAN42B-R is the IBM branded version (IBM OEM) of the Brocade 7840.
IBM System Storage SAN42B-R leverages the core technology of Brocade's Gen 5 Fibre Channel platforms. It combines enterprise-class availability with innovative features nondisruptive firmware upgrades to achieve always-on business operations and maximize application uptime. These capabilities enable a high-performance and highly reliable network infrastructure for disaster recovery and data protection.
The SAN42B-R maximizes replication and backup throughput over distance using data compression, disk protocol acceleration, and FCIP networking technology. Advanced features and technologies include:
Extension trunking: Combines multiple WAN connections into a single, logical, high-bandwidth trunk, providing active load balancing and network resilience to protect against WAN link failures.
IPsec support: Ensures secure transport over WAN links by encrypting data-in-flight with a standard 256-bit AES algorithm without a performance penalty.
Extremely efficient architecture: Uniquely permits the high-speed, low-latency processing of frames, enabling the extension of synchronous applications.
Adaptive rate limiting: Dynamically adjusts bandwidth sharing between minimum and maximum rate limits to optimize bandwidth utilization and maintain WAN performance during disruptions.
Advanced compression architecture: Provides multiple modes to optimize compression ratios for various throughput requirements.
WAN-optimized TCP: Provides an aggressive TCP stack, optimizing TCP window size and flow control, and accelerating TCP transport for high throughput storage applications
Priority TCP Quality of Service (PTQ): Provides high-, medium-, and low-priority handling of initiator-target flows within the same tunnel for transmission over the WAN, with individual TCP sessions per Quality of Service class.
Advanced Accelerator for FICON: Uses advanced networking technologies, data management techniques, and protocol intelligence to accelerate IBM zGM and z/OS® host connection to Teradata warehousing systems over distance.
What I believe is the most valuable technology for IBM System z customers:
Customers have indicated that one of the most important new features in new extension platforms is non-disruptive firmware upgrades for extension with Extension HCL. This is the ability to perform Hot Code Load (HCL) with no disruption to FCIP connections. Brocade listened and delivered. Brocade builds storage networking products to satisfy the highest standards of IBM System z. Extension HCL is lossless and guarantees in-order delivery. There will be no Interface Control Checks (IFCC) with Extension HCL on the SAN42B-R. This is a major technology achievement.
The SAN42B-R also supports te entire range of Brocade Fabric Vision features and functionality available with FOS 7.3.
The Brocade 7840 Extension Switch is a true game changer for business continuity in IBM System z environments and the recent IBM announcement provides IBM and Brocade's mutual customers the opportunity to have the 7840 as an IBM OEM product and take full advantage of the benefits that come with that. This extension switch is a quantum leap forward over all existing extension products in the market today in terms of performance, advanced features, management, scalability, and availability. It is an ideal platform for IBM System z environments moving to three or more site architectures. Organizations running IBM System z can implement the IBM System Storage SAN 42B-R (AKA Brocade 7840), knowing in full confidence that they will have a superior business continuity replication network platform for many years to come
You can read the details of the IBM announcement here. IBM's GA is 12 December 2014. For additional information, including details on supported host systems, SAN components, and storage systems, visit