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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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The IBM zEnterprise EC12 (zEC12), the newest member of the zEnterprise family, is designed to deliver new levels of performance and capacity for large-scale consolidation and growth. It leverages FICON Express8S, z High Performance FICON (zHPF), OSA Express4, and new processors to improve performance for traditional and modern workloads, enabling unprecedented virtualization support for massive consolidation and infrastructure simplification. To maximize the value of zEC12 processing power and I/O capabilities, organizations require a high-performance, scalable, and reliable FICON infrastructure.

Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) 7.2.0b FICON Qualification Letter

Brocade Fabric OS (FOS) 6.4.2a FICON Qualification Letter

Brocade FICON-qualified directors and switches provide the most flexible FICON infrastructure for designing, building, and transforming enterprise data centers into strategic business assets. Brocade DCX 8510 FICON directors and Brocade 6510 FICON switches with Gen 5 Fibre Channel provide industry-leading performance, scalability, and investment protection, enabling organizations to leverage the full capabilities of System z, particularly zEC12 and z196 solutions.

Built on proven technologies, Brocade FICON solutions enable IT organizations to address their most pressing business challenges while preparing for emerging and future technologies. They offer System z users many unique advantages, including:

  • Maximizes consolidation and virtualization of workloads, matching the performance demands of mainframe with the superior I/O bandwidth of a FICON infrastructure
  • Builds on more than 25 years of mainframe leadership that includes developing the FICON standards and authoring many FICON patents
  • Integrates metro and global FICON extension, including acceleration for disk and tape, to move more data faster and farther for disaster recovery and business continuity solutions
  • Leverages mainframe-proven technology performing at over 99.999 percent uptime in enterprise data centers across the globe
  • Offers a FICON intermix solution that combines FICON and FCP traffic in the same fabric for greater resource utilization
  • Offers an integrated FICON/FCIP/IP business continuity network solution for virtual tape, DASD replication, and GDPS managed from a single management software platform

SAN Fabric Technology Resources

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


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.


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


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.


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


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.