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SAN Fabric Technology

The Fibre Channel protocol and Brocade have been closely connected since the development of the first Brocade Fibre Channel platforms over 15 years ago. Today, organizations worldwide rely on Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel Storage Area Network (SAN) solutions in their mission-critical data centers to deliver unmatched reliability, simplicity, and 16 Gbps performance.


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Storage Magazine - Products of the Year Finalist 2013

Brocade Fabric Vision technology, an extension of Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel, introduces a breakthrough hardware and software solution that maximizes uptime, simplifies SAN management, and provides unprecedented visibility and insight across the storage network. Offering innovative diagnostic, monitoring, and management capabilities, Brocade Fabric Vision technology helps administrators avoid problems, maximize application performance, and reduce operational costs. Brocade Fabric Vision technology includes:

Brocade ClearLink diagnostics: Ensures optical and signal integrity for Gen 5 Fibre Channel optics and cables, simplifying deployment and support of high-performance fabrics. It leverages ClearLink Diagnostic Port (D_Port) capabilities of Gen 5 Fibre Channel platforms.

Monitoring and Alerting Policy Suite (MAPS): This is a new, policy-based threshold monitoring and alerting tool that proactively monitors the health and performance of the SAN infrastructure to ensure application uptime and availability. By leveraging pre-built rule/policy-based templates, MAPS simplifies threshold configuration, monitoring and alerting. Organizations can configure the entire fabric (or multiple fabrics) at one time using common rules and policies, or customize policies for specific ports or switch elements—all through a single dialog. The integrated dashboard displays an overall switch health report, along with details on out-of-policy conditions, to help administrators quickly pinpoint potential issues and easily identify trends and other behaviors occurring on a switch or fabric.

Flow Vision: This is a comprehensive tool that enables administrators to identify, monitor, and analyze specific application data flows in order to maximize performance, avoid congestion, and optimize resources. Flow Vision includes:

  • Flow Monitor: Provides comprehensive visibility into flows in the fabric, including the ability to automatically learn (discover) flows and non-disruptively monitor flow performance. Users can monitor all flows from a specific host to multiple targets/LUNs or from multiple hosts to a specific target/LUN; monitor all flows across a specific ISL; or perform LUN-level monitoring of specific frame types to identify resource contention or congestion that is impacting application performance.
  • Flow Mirror: Provides the ability to non-disruptively create copies of specific application and data flows or frame types that can be captured for deeper analysis. Flow Mirror is used for in-depth analysis of flows of interest or specific frame types, such as analysis of SCSI Reservation frames, ABTS frames, or flows going to a bottlenecked device.
  • Flow Generator: Provides a built-in test traffic generator for pre-testing and validating the SAN infrastructure, including internal connections within a switch, for robustness before deploying applications.

Bottleneck Detection: Identifies and alerts administrators to device or ISL congestion as well as abnormal levels of latency in the fabric. This feature works in conjunction with Brocade Network Advisor to automatically monitor and detect network congestion and latency in the fabric, providing visualization of bottlenecks in a connectivity map and product tree, and identifying exactly which devices and hosts are impacted by a bottlenecked port.

Integration into Brocade Network Advisor: Provides customizable health and performance dashboard views to pinpoint problems faster, simplify SAN configuration and management, and reduce operational costs.

Critical diagnostic and monitoring capabilities: Help ensure early problem detection and recovery.

Non-intrusive and non-disruptive monitoring on every port: Provides a comprehensive end-to-end view of the entire fabric

Forward Error Correction (FEC): Enables recovery from bit errors in ISLs, enhancing transmission reliability and performance.

Credit Loss Recovery: Help overcome performance degradation and congestion due to buffer credit loss.

Real-time bandwidth consumption by hosts/applications on ISLs: Helps easily identify hot spots and potential network congestion.

SAN Fabric Technology Resources

Browse a complete listing of all Brocade resources. View All Resources

Abstract:

This tech brief provides best practices for implementation of advanced Brocade Fabric OS features that identify, monitor, and protect Fibre Channel SANs from problematic device and media behavior.

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Publication Date: February 2014

Abstract:

Evaluator Group’s benchmark testing demonstrates the superior performance of Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel vs FCoE for Solid State Storage environments.

Abstract:

This document provides guidance for selecting an ideal Brocade FOS code version for use on Brocade Fibre Channel switch platforms and when migrating from one Brocade FOS release to another. These “Target Path” release recommendations should be used in conjunction with advice from your Brocade switch vendor.

Abstract:

The Brocade DCX 8510 Backbone with Gen 5 Fibre Channel offers unique optical ICL connectivity, enabling massive fabric scalability while simplifying network topologies.

Abstract:

Brocade switches with Gen 5 Fibre Channel unleash the full potential of high-density server virtualization, cloud architectures, and next-generation storage, doubling the data throughput of 8 Gbps links, enabling organizations to fully leverage existing and new IT investments.