Brocade Releases Mainframe-Centric Storage Area Network Technology

Brocade, a network backbone vendor, says that its latest storage area network (SAN) controllers  are now qualified for mainframe environments, enabling enterprises to fully exploit the capabilities of their IBM zEnterprise FICON infrastructures.  Brocade's DCX 8510 directors, based on 16 Gbps Fibre Channel SAN technology, are part of its line of FICON-capable directors and switches. Brocade DCX 8510 FICON directors are intended to help organizations leverage the capabilities of System z, particularly IBM zEnterprise 196 (z196) mainframe solutions.

Brocade's directors are intended to help System z users maximize consolidation and virtualization of workloads, and match the performance demands of the mainframe with the superior I/O bandwidth of a FICON infrastructure, the vendor says. The solution also is designed to integrate metro and global FICON extension, including acceleration for disk and tape, to move more data faster and further for disaster recovery and business continuity solutions.

The Brocade DCX 8510 also delivers a new level of infrastructure flexibility for FICON environments. FICON's one-hop restriction typically limits fabric size and scalability to just two directors. Using Brocade's unique Inter-Chassis Links (ICLs), customers can build FICON infrastructures to form a single SAN fabric that scales beyond 1,500 ports and that can extend over thousands of miles to support remote operations, improve business continuity and enable new cloud infrastructures, the vendor says.

The Brocade DCX 8510 includes features intended to reduce deployment risk and improve availability and operational efficiency of FICON infrastructures. These features include end-to-end link and optics verification, enhanced bottleneck detection, automatic and non-disruptive port de-commissioning upon failure, and enhanced error recovery.

More information is available at Brocade's website at