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Brocade FX8-24 Extension Blade
12 Ports 8 Gbps Fibre Channel, 10 Ports Gigabit Ethernet, and up to Two optional 10 GbE Ports


Brocade FX8-24 Extension Blade

Brocade Products
Brocade SAN Backbone/Director Blades
Brocade FX8-24 12-port 8 Gbps Fibre Channel Extension Blade
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Overview:

The Brocade FX8-24 Extension Blade for the Brocade DCX Backbone family provides enterprise-class Fibre Channel, FICON, and FCIP performance and availability for remote replication, backup, and migration. Twelve 8 Gbps Fibre Channel ports, ten 1 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports, and up to two optional 10 GbE ports provide maximum bandwidth, port density, and throughput, extending and optimizing fabric connectivity over distance for business continuity and disaster recovery.

Next-Generation SAN Extension for Remote Data Replication, Backup, and Migration

IT organizations continue to face unprecedented data growth as more platforms, applications, and users connect to the data center network. In turn, the storage network infrastructure must continue evolving to enable fast, continuous, and cost-effective access to mission-critical data from anywhere in the world.

The Brocade FX8-24 Extension Blade, designed specifically for the Brocade DCX 8510 and Brocade DCX, helps provide the fastest, most reliable, and most cost-effective network infrastructure for remote data replication, backup, and migration. Leveraging next-generation 8 Gbps Fibre Channel, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE), and advanced Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) technology, the Brocade FX8-24 provides a flexible and extensible platform to move more data faster and further than ever before.

Whether configured for synchronous or asynchronous replication between data centers or centralized backup across multiple sites, the Brocade FX8-24 addresses the most demanding business continuity, compliance, and global data access requirements. Twelve 8 Gbps Fibre Channel ports, ten 1 GbE ports, and up to two optional 10 GbE ports provide unmatched Fibre Channel and FCIP bandwidth, port density, and throughput for maximum application performance over WAN links.

Highlights

  • Enables fast, reliable, and cost-effective remote data replication and backup
  • Offers best-in-class Fibre Channel and FCIP port density, bandwidth, and throughput with twelve 8 Gbps Fibre Channel ports, ten 1 GbE ports, and up to two optional 10 GbE ports
  • Maximizes flexibility and scalability with a modular blade platform and simple software licensing to support a broad range of SAN extension requirements
  • Maximizes throughput over distance using advanced FCIP technology
  • Offers FCIP Trunking and Adaptive Rate Limiting to maximize WAN link utilization and resiliency
  • Simplifies management through Brocade Fabric Vision technology, reducing operational costs, maximizing uptime, and optimizing application performance

Simplified SAN extension

  • Provide a broad range of advanced extension, FICON, and SAN fabric services
  • Scale bandwidth to meet the demands of larger data centers and multiple sites
  • Deliver aggregate bandwidth of up to 96 Gbps (Fibre Channel) and up to 20 Gbps (FCIP)

Easier recovery and protection

  • Accelerate FastWrite and IBM z/OS Global Mirror to maximize replication performance
  • Reduce backup and recovery times over distance with Tape Pipelining
  • Provide FCIP tunnel redundancy for lossless path failover and guaranteed in-order delivery
  • Ensure six-nines availability with hot-pluggable hardware and non-disruptive software upgrades

Create a Network for Instant Data Access

As connections to your network increase, storage infrastructure must provide instant data access. The Brocade FX 8-24 Extension Blade offers port density and fast throughput for remote replication and backup. With 8 Gbps Fibre Channel, 10 GbE, and FCIP technology, this powerhouse maximizes flexibility and scalability with a modular blade platform and simple software licensing.

Easily Scale Your Network for Delivering Must-Have Performance

Build a SAN Extension That Grows With You

Build a SAN extension from scratch or expand to meet evolving requirements. Install up to four Brocade FX 8-24 Extension Blades in a Brocade DCX 8510 Backbone for scalable Fibre Channel and FCIP bandwidth—ideal for larger enterprise data centers and multi-site environments.

Cut Costs with Unified Consolidation

Recover From Disaster, Transmit Data Faster

The Brocade FX 8-24 Extension Blade features advanced protection and storage network optimization—so replication and backup applications transmit more data over FCIP links, faster. That means you protect time-sensitive asynchronous or high-priority traffic and optimize available WAN bandwidth.

Unify Management Across Your Storage Network

Eliminate Problems With Simplified Management

Maximize network availability and monitor your SAN fabric with ease. Reduce costs, too. The Brocade FX 8-24 Extension Blade with Fabric Vision technology helps administrators avoid problems before they impact performance and SLAs.

Features:

A Scalable, Flexible SAN Extension Platform

The Brocade FX8-24 is an ideal foundation for building or expanding a high-performance SAN extension infrastructure for disaster recovery, data protection, and data mobility storage solutions (see figure 1). It leverages cost-effective IP WAN transport to extend open systems and mainframe disk and tape storage applications over distances that would otherwise be impossible, impractical, or too expensive with standard Fibre Channel connections.

Organizations can install up to four Brocade FX8-24 blades in a Brocade DCX 8510-8, Brocade DCX 8510-4, Brocade DCX, or Brocade DCX-4S, providing scalable Fibre Channel and FCIP bandwidth for larger enterprise data centers and multisite environments. Activating the optional 10 GbE ports doubles the aggregate bandwidth to 20 Gbps and enables additional FCIP port configurations (ten 1 GbE ports and one 10 GbE port, or two 10 GbE ports).

The Brocade FX8-24 provides flexible deployment options within the Brocade DCX and Brocade DCX 8510 chassis, integrating seamlessly with Fibre Channel and application blades or providing standalone extension services. In addition, a broad range of optional advanced extension, FICON®, and SAN fabric services are available to address the most challenging extension and storage networking requirements. The Brocade FX8-24 is ideal for:

  • Open systems and mainframe disk and tape extension
  • Multisite synchronous and asynchronous disk replication
  • Centralized SAN backup, recovery, and archiving
  • Global data and storage resource migration, distribution, and sharing

Organizations can deploy both the Brocade FX8-24 and the Brocade 7800 Extension Switch in a data center-to-edge architecture as a cost-effective option for connecting primary data centers with remote data centers and offices. The Brocade 7800 provides up to sixteen 8 Gbps Fibre Channel ports and six GbE ports for SAN and FCIP connectivity.

Simplified Disaster Recovery and Data Protection

Today's organizations depend on fast, reliable access to data wherever and whenever needed, regardless of location. As a result, the ramifications and potential business impact of an inadequate disaster recovery and data protection infrastructure are greater than ever.

The advanced performance and network optimization features of the Brocade FX8-24 enable replication and backup applications to send more data over FCIP links in less time, protecting time-sensitive synchronous or other high-priority traffic, and optimizing available WAN bandwidth.

Acceleration for SCSI writes (FastWrite) and IBM z/OS Global Mirror (zGM, formerly known as eXtended Remote Copy or XRX) maximize replication performance and enable cost-effective synchronous and asynchronous replication across any distance. In addition, Tape Pipelining for open systems and mainframe tapes utilizes unique read and write tape processing to significantly reduce backup and recovery times over distance anywhere in the world. Optional FCIP Trunking provides FCIP tunnel redundancy for lossless path failover and guaranteed in-order data delivery in the event of a failure.

The Brocade DCX, Brocade DCX 8510, and the Brocade FX8-24 leverage the core technology of Brocade systems performing at greater than 99.999 percent uptime in the world's most demanding data centers. The Brocade DCX Backbone family combines enterprise-class availability features such as hot-pluggable redundant power supplies and fans with non-disruptive software upgrades to maximize application uptime and minimize outages. These unique capabilities enable a high-performance and highly reliable network infrastructure for disaster recovery and data protection.

Unmatched Performance and Optimization

Best-in-class Fibre Channel and FCIP switch port density, bandwidth, and throughput address today's dynamic I/O and workload requirements and are designed to meet tomorrow's evolving requirements for virtual data centers. Each Brocade FX8-24 provides aggregate bandwidth of up to 96 Gbps for Fibre Channel and up to 20 Gbps for FCIP. Supporting up to 350 ms Round-Trip Time (RTT) of latency, the Brocade FX8-24 enables cost-effective SAN extension solutions over distances up to 17,500 kilometers (nearly 11,000 miles).

The Brocade FX8-24 maximizes replication, backup, and migration throughput over distance using advanced Fibre Channel frame compression, disk and tape protocol acceleration, and FCIP networking technology. Unique features and technologies include the following:

  • FCIP Trunking combines multiple IP source and destination address pairs into a single logical high-bandwidth FCIP trunk spanning multiple physical ports—including 10 GbE ports—to provide load balancing and network failure resiliency.
  • Adaptive Rate Limiting dynamically adjusts bandwidth between minimum and maximum rate limits to optimize bandwidth utilization and sharing.
  • FCIP Quality of Service (QoS) provides high-, medium-, and low-priority handling of initiator-target flows within the same FCIP tunnel for transmission over the WAN with individual TCP sessions per QoS class.
  • IPSec support ensures secure transport over WAN links by encrypting data-in-flight with standard 256-bit AES algorithm.
  • Advanced compression architecture provides multiple modes to optimize compression ratios for various throughput requirements.
  • FCIP Fast Write accelerates SCSI write processing, maximizing performance of synchronous and asynchronous replication applications across high-latency WAN connections.
  • Open Systems Tape Pipelining accelerates read and write tape processing over distance, minimizing backup and restore windows.
  • Brocade Advanced Accelerator for FICON uses advanced networking technologies, data management techniques, and protocol intelligence to accelerate IBM zGM, mainframe tape read and write operations, and z/OS host connection to Teradata warehousing systems over distance.
  • Storage-Optimized TCP optimizes TCP window size and flow control, accelerating TCP transport for storage applications.

Integrated Architecture and Management

The Brocade FX8-24 utilizes the same Fabric OS® that supports the entire Brocade SAN product family—from the Brocade 300 Switch to the Brocade DCX Backbone family. This helps ensure seamless interoperability with optional advanced features such as Brocade Integrated Routing, Brocade ISL Trunking, Brocade Adaptive Networking, Brocade Server Application Optimization (SAO), Brocade Advanced Performance Monitoring, Brocade Fabric Watch, and Brocade Extended Fabrics.

In addition, organizations can perform management and administrative tasks through familiar Brocade management tools, including Brocade Network Advisor, Brocade Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM®), Brocade Web Tools, and the Command Line Interface (CLI). Moreover, optional FICON Control Unit Port (CUP) capabilities enable legacy management applications to seamlessly support Brocade FICON environments.

Brocade Global Services

Brocade Global Services has the expertise to help organizations build scalable, efficient cloud infrastructures. Leveraging 15 years of expertise in storage, networking, and virtualization, Brocade Global Services delivers world-class professional services, technical support, network monitoring services, and education, enabling organizations to maximize their Brocade investments, accelerate new technology deployments, and optimize the performance of networking infrastructures.

Deployment:

Brocade FX8-24 Deployment
Brocade FX8-24 Deployment

Figure 1.The Brocade FX8-24 is a scalable SAN extension platform that extends disaster recovery, data protection, and data mobility storage solutions across any distance.

Specifications:


FX8-24 Specifications
Systems Architecture
Fibre Channel ports 12 ports, universal (E, F, M, EX, and FL)
FCIP ports 12 ports (VE, VEX): ten 1 GbE ports and two optional 10 GbE ports
Standard FCIP port configuration Ten 1 GbE ports
Optional FCIP 10 GbE port configurations Ten 1 GbE ports and one 10 GbE port; two 10 GbE ports
Scalability Full fabric architecture with 239 switches maximum
Certified maximum Single fabric: 56 domains, 7 hops
Multiprotocol routing fabric: 19 hops
Fibre Channel performance 1.063 Gbps line speed, full duplex; 2.125 Gbps line speed, full duplex; 4.25 Gbps line speed, full duplex; 8.5 Gbps line speed, full duplex. Auto-sensing of 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps, 4 Gbps, and 8 Gbps port speeds; optionally programmable to fixed port speed. Speed matching between 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps, 4 Gbps, and 8 Gbps ports.
FCIP performance 1 Gbps line speed; 10 Gbps line speed
System scalability Up to four Brocade FX8-24 blades per Brocade DCX Backbone family chassis
ISL Trunking Up to eight 8 Gbps ports per ISL trunk; up to 64 Gbps per ISL trunk. There is no limit to how many trunk groups can be configured on the blade.
Fibre Channel aggregate bandwidth 96 Gbps: 12 ports at 8 Gbps (data rate)
FCIP aggregate bandwidth (supported port configurations) 10 Gbps: 10 ports at 1 Gbps (data rate);
20 Gbps: 10 ports at 1 Gbps (data rate) and one port at 10 Gbps (data rate);
20 Gbps: two ports at 10 Gbps (data rate)
Fabric latency 700 ns with no contention, cut-through routing at 8 Gbps
Maximum frame size 2112-byte payload
Maximum MTU size 1500-byte Ethernet packets with FCIP
Classes of service Class 2, Class 3, Class F (inter-switch frames)
Port types FL_Port, F_Port, E_Port, Ex_Port, M_Port (Mirror Port), and self-discovery based on switch type (U_Port).
For FCIP, VE_Port (Virtual E_Port), VEX_Port (Virtual EX_Port).
Data traffic types Fabric switches supporting unicast, multicast (255 groups), and broadcast
Media types Fibre Channel: Brocade hot-pluggable Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP) and SFP+, LC connector; Short-Wave Laser (SWL) and Long-Wave Laser (LWL); distance depends on fiber-optic cable and port speed; supports SFP+ (2, 4, and 8 Gbps) and SFP (1, 2, and 4 Gbps) optical transceivers
1 GbE: Brocade hot-pluggable optical SFP, Short-Wave Laser (SWL) and Long-Wave Laser (LWL); GbE Copper SFP; distance depends on fiber-optic or copper cable and port speed
10 GbE: Brocade hot-pluggable optical 10 GbE SFP+, Short-Reach (SR) and Long-Reach (LR); distance depends on fiber-optic cable and port speed
Fabric services Brocade Advanced Zoning, Dynamic Path Selection (DPS), FDMI, Enhanced Group Management (EGM), Frame Redirection, Registered State Change Notification (RSCN), Reliable Commit Service (RCS), and Simple Name Server (SNS). Optional fabric services include Brocade Adaptive Networking, Brocade Advanced Performance Monitoring, Brocade Fabric Watch, Brocade Integrated Routing, Brocade Server Application Optimization (SAO), Brocade Extended Fabrics, and Brocade ISL Trunking.
Licensing options The following optional extension features can be enabled via license keys:
  • 10 GbE License: Enables the two 10 GbE ports and optional 10 GbE port configurations
  • Advanced Extension: Enables FCIP Trunking and Adaptive Rate Limiting
  • Adaptive Networking: Activates Fibre Channel and FCIP QoS functionality
  • FICON Management Server: Control Unit Port (CUP) enables host control of switches in mainframe environments
  • Advanced Accelerator for FICON: Accelerates IBM zGM, mainframe tapes, and z/OS connection to Teradata systems over distance
Management
Supported management software SSH v2, HTTP/HTTPS, SNMP v1/v3, Telnet; SNMP (FE MIB, FC Management MIB); Brocade Web Tools; Brocade Network Advisor; Brocade DCFM Professional, Professional Plus, and Enterprise (optional); SMI-S, RADIUS, and LDAP
Security DH-CHAP (between switches and end devices), HTTPS, IPsec, IP Filtering, LDAP, Port Binding, RADIUS, Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), Secure Copy (SCP), Secure RPC, SSH v2, SSL, Switch Binding, Trusted Switch
Diagnostics POST and embedded online/offline diagnostics, including FCping, Pathinfo (FCtraceroute), etc.
Mechanical
Size Width: 3.6 cm (1.4 in)
Height: 42.1 cm (16.6 in)
Depth: 29.9 cm (11.8 in)
Occupies one slot in a Brocade DCX Backbone family chassis
System weight 4.3 kg (9.4 lbs) without SFP/SFP+
Environmental
Temperature Operating: 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F)
Non-operating: –25°C to 70°C (–13°F to 158°F)
Humidity Operating: 10% to 85% non-condensing
Non-operating: 10% to 90% non-condensing
Altitude Operating: Up to 3000 m (9842 ft)
Storage: Up to 12 km (39,370 ft)
Shock Operating: 20 g, 6 ms half-sine
Non-operating: 33 g, 11 ms, half-sine, 3/eg Axis
Vibration Operating: 0.5 g sine, 0.4 grms random, 5 to 500 Hz
Non-operating: 2.0 g sine, 1.1 grms random, 5 to 500 Hz
Power
Maximum power 250 watts

Frequently Asked Questions:

The Brocade FX8-24 Extension Blade and Brocade 7800 Extension Switch are nextgeneration Storage Area Network (SAN) extension platforms that provide best-in-class Fibre Channel and Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) port density, bandwidth, and throughput to address the most demanding business continuity, compliance, and data mobility requirements. They enable organizations to move more data faster and further then ever before for remote data replication, backup, and migration solutions.

What is the Brocade FX8-24 Extension Blade?

The Brocade FX8-24 is a blade-based solution designed for the Brocade DCX® 8510 and Brocade DCX Backbone families that provides enterprise-class Fibre Channel and FCIP performance and availability for primary and secondary data centers. Aggregate bandwidth of 96 Gbps for Fibre Channel and up to 20 Gbps for FCIP provides industryleading performance and throughput for open systems and mainframe storage applications. Two optional 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports, providing the industry's first 10 GbE FCIP connectivity, maximize available FCIP bandwidth and enable consolidation of GbE ports. Up to four Brocade FX8-24 blades can be installed in a Brocade DCX or Brocade DCX 8510 chassis for simple expansion and enterprise data center reliability.

What is the Brocade 7800 Extension Switch?

The Brocade 7800 is a rack-based solution that combines class-leading performance, "pay-as-you-grow" scalability, and flexible deployment options for data centers and remote offices. Aggregate bandwidth of up to 128 Gbps for Fibre Channel and up to 6 Gbps for FCIP provide class-leading performance and throughput. Dual redundant, hotswappable power supplies with integrated fans maximize availability and minimize outages. In addition, the Brocade 7800 integrates seamlessly with the Brocade FX8-24, providing larger enterprises with a cost-effective solution to connect remote offices to a primary data center.

Two models of the Brocade 7800 are available to address a variety of capacity, functionality, and cost objectives:

  • The Brocade 7800 16/6 with sixteen 8 Gbps Fibre Channel ports and six 1 GbE ports maximizes connectivity for multisite and point-to-point open systems and mainframe disk and tape applications over distance.
  • The Brocade 7800 4/2 with four 8 Gbps Fibre Channel ports and two 1 GbE ports provides cost-effective connectivity for point-to-point open systems disk replication and mainframe disk and tape applications over distance.

What new features or technologies are being introduced with the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800?

The Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 accelerate and optimize replication, backup, and migration over any distance by using advanced Fibre Channel and FCIP networking technology. New performance and optimization technologies include the following:

  • FCIP Trunking creates logical tunnels spanning multiple physical ports for load balancing and network failure resiliency
  • Adaptive Rate Limiting dynamically adjusts bandwidth limits to ensure efficient utilization and sharing of available bandwidth
  • FCIP Quality of Service (QoS) prioritizes initiator-target flows within an FCIP tunnel to optimize bandwidth and performance by application with individual TCP sessions per QoS class
  • Substantially improved compression architecture provides flexibility to optimize compression ratios and maximize throughput over lower-speed WAN connections
  • Up to 350 ms Round-Trip Time (RTT) of latency supports distances approaching 17,500 kilometers (nearly 11,000 miles)
  • Enhanced Brocade Network Advisor and Brocade Data Center Fabric Manager (DCFM) FCIP management enables unified management of Fibre Channel and FCIP network infrastructure

What are the key platform features of the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800?

The Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 maximize throughput over distance using advanced Fibre Channel frame compression, disk and tape protocol acceleration for open systems and mainframe environments, and FCIP networking technology. Unique features and technologies include the following:

  • FCIP Fast Write accelerates SCSI write processing, enabling synchronous and asynchronous disk replication over any distance
  • Open Systems Tape Pipelining accelerates read and write tape processing, minimizing backup and restore windows
  • Storage Optimized TCP optimizes TCP window size and flow control, accelerating TCP transport for storage applications
  • IPSec support ensures secure transport over IP WAN links by encrypting data-in-flight with standard 256-bit AES algorithm
  • Brocade Advanced Accelerator for FICON® accelerates IBM z/OS Global Mirror (zGM, formerly known as eXtended Remote Copy or XRC), mainframe tape read and write operations, and z/OS host connection to Teradata warehousing systems, maximizing performance over distance
  • Seamless interoperability with Brocade SAN switches and management software simplifies deployment and administration

What are some use cases for the Brocade SAN extension solutions?

The Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 leverage cost-effective IP WAN transport to build or expand flexible and high-performance disaster recovery, data protection, and data mobility solutions. They extend open systems and mainframe storage applications over distances that would otherwise be impossible, impractical, or too expensive with standard Fibre Channel connections. The solutions are ideal for:

  • Open systems and mainframe disk and tape extension
  • Multisite synchronous and asynchronous disk replication
  • Centralized SAN backup, recovery, and archiving
  • Global data and storage resource migration, distribution, and sharing

Are the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 compatible with each other?

Yes. The Brocade FX8-24 and the Brocade 7800 can be connected seamlessly via FCIP tunnels over WAN links, providing flexible deployment options to address scalability, performance, and cost requirements for multisite SAN extension.

Do the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 interoperate with other Brocade Fabric OS switches?

The Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 utilize the same Brocade Fabric OS that supports the entire Brocade SAN product family—from the Brocade 300 Switch to the Brocade DCX 8510-8 Backbone. This helps ensure seamless interoperability with optional advanced features such as Brocade Integrated Routing, Brocade ISL Trunking, Brocade Adaptive Networking, Brocade Server Application Optimization, Brocade Advanced Performance Monitoring, Brocade Fabric Watch, and Brocade Extended Fabrics.

Although the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 are compatible with current and previous-generation Fibre Channel switches, they do not support FCIP connectivity with other extension products, including the Brocade FR4-18i or Brocade 7500/7500E.

Are professional service offerings such as FCIP or FICON extension implementation services available?

Yes, FCIP and FICON extension implementation services are available for the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800. As part of this service, a Brocade expert will assess the network and application environment, provide an estimated throughput of the extension link, and verify that requirements align with the available capabilities and resources. Brocade will then implement the specific configuration for connections between SAN fabrics.

Who sells the Brocade FX8-24 and the Brocade 7800?

Brocade extension solutions are available through traditional OEMs as well as VAD/VAR channels.

What are the key differences between the Brocade FX8-24 and the Brocade 7800?

The Brocade FX8-24 Extension Blade is a blade-based solution designed for the Brocade DCX 8510 and Brocade DCX. It is the industry's first 10 GbE FCIP solution and provides unmatched bandwidth of up to 20 Gbps over IP WAN links. The Brocade 7800 Extension Switch is a rack-based solution that combines class-leading performance, "pay-as-yougrow" scalability, and flexible deployment options for data centers and remote offices. (See table 1 for a detailed comparison.)

Table 1. Brocade Extension Product Comparison

Standard features Brocade FX8-24
Extension Blade
Brocade 7800 16/6
Extension Switch
Brocade 7800 4/2
Extension Switch
Form factor Integrated blade for the Brocade DCX 8510-8, Brocade DCX 8510-4, Brocade DCX, and Brocade DCX-4S 19-inch 1U switch 19-inch 1U switch
Supported storage Open systems and mainframe Open systems and mainframe Open systems and mainframe
8 Gbps Fibre Channel/FICON ports 12 16 4
Aggregate Fibre Channel bandwidth 96 Gbps (data rate) 128 Gbps (data rate) 32 Gbps (data rate)
1 GbE ports 10 6 2
10 GbE ports Two (optional) N/A N/A
Maximum FCIP bandwidth 20 Gbps (data rate) 6 Gbps (data rate) 2 Gbps (data rate)
Maximum FCIP Trunk bandwidth
(requires optional FCIP Trunking)
Up to 10 Gbps Up to 4 Gbps Up to 2 Gbps
High-performance compression Included Included Included
FCIP Fast Write Included Included Included
Open Systems Tape Pipelining Included Included Not supported
Storage Optimized TCP Included Included Included
Brocade DCFM FCIP management Included Included Included
FCIP QoS Brocade DCX 8510-8 and Brocade DCX (included), Brocade DCX 8510-4 and Brocade DCX-4S (optional) Optional Optional
FCIP Trunking Optional Optional Optional
Adaptive Rate Limiting Optional Optional Optional
FICON Global Mirror Emulation and Tape Pipelining Optional Optional Optional
FICON CUP Optional Optional Optional

What are the key differences between the Brocade 7800 16/6 and Brocade 7800 4/2?

Both models of the Brocade 7800 leverage the same hardware and software platform. The Brocade 7800 16/6 Extension Switch is a robust platform for data centers and multisite environments that are implementing disk and tape solutions for open systems and mainframe environments. The Brocade 7800 4/2 offers lower port density, select advanced features, and a lower price point—making it a cost-effective option for smaller data centers and remote offices that are implementing point-to-point open systems disk replication or mainframe zGM, tape, or Teradata warehousing applications. It does not include support for Open Systems Tape Pipelining. The Brocade 7800 4/2 can be easily upgraded to the Brocade 7800 16/6 through software licensing, providing scalability and investment protection for growing environments.

What optional extension features are available for the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800?

A broad range of optional advanced extension, SAN fabric, and FICON services are available to address the most challenging extension and storage networking requirements.

Optional advanced extension and SAN fabric services for all extension blades and switches include:

  • Advanced Extension: Enables FCIP Trunking and Adaptive Rate Limiting
  • Adaptive Networking: Activates Fibre Channel and FCIP QoS functionality (license included with the Brocade DCX 8501-8 and Brocade DCX, optional with the Brocade DCX 8510-4 and Brocade DCX-4S)
  • Optional Brocade Fabric OS advanced fabric services: Brocade Integrated Routing, Brocade Advanced Performance Monitoring, Brocade Fabric Watch, and Brocade ISL Trunking

Optional upgrade licenses include:

  • Brocade FX8-24 10 GbE Port Upgrade: Enables the two 10 GbE ports and optional 10 GbE port configurations
  • Brocade 7800 4/2 Upgrade: Enables all ports and Open Systems Tape Pipelining

Optional FICON services available for the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 include:

  • Advanced Accelerator for FICON: Enables high-performance FICON tape, zGM, and z/OS host connection to Teradata warehousing system over distance
  • FICON Management Server: Control Unit Port (CUP) enables host control of switches in mainframe environments

What is required to enable the 10 GbE ports on the Brocade FX8-24?

The optional 10 GbE ports are easily activated on a per-blade basis through a simple license upgrade to maximize FCIP bandwidth. Activating the 10 GbE ports on each blade doubles the aggregate bandwidth to a maximum of 20 Gbps and enables additional FCIP port configurations (ten 1 GbE ports and one 10 GbE port, or two 10 GbE ports).

What is required to upgrade the Brocade 7800 4/2 to the functionality of the Brocade 7800 16/6?

The Brocade 7800 4/2 can be easily upgraded with a simple license upgrade to increase bandwidth and functionality. The upgrade license activates 12 additional Fibre Channel ports, four additional 1 GbE ports, and Open Systems Tape Pipelining.

Are Brocade SFPs required for the new switches?

Yes, the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 require Brocade-branded SFPs.

Does Brocade offer a choice of SFPs?

Yes, the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 can use a variety of Brocade hot-pluggable Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) and SFP+ transceivers to support distance, cable type, and port speed requirements.

Is there a minimum version of Brocade Fabric OS required for the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800?

The Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 require Fabric OS 6.3.

Can I use the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 for Fibre Channel extension?

The Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 support only FCIP extension.

FCIP Technology

What are the differences between FCIP, FCoE, and iSCSI?

FCIP, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), and iSCSI are all storage protocols capable of transporting block storage data over an Ethernet link. However, each has been developed with very different goals and design criteria (see table 2).

Table 2. Comparison of Storage Protocols

  FCIP FCoE iSCSI
Use case Enables replication, backup, and storage access over long distance Enables server I/O consolidation of Fibre Channel and Ethernet links Enables IP-connected hosts to access iSCSI- or Fibre Channel-connected storage
Benefit Moves more data faster and further for disaster recovery, data protection, and data mobility solutions Simplifies the data center network infrastructure and reduces capital and operational costs Reduces the costs of deploying or expanding networked storage
Network WAN/MAN Data center MAN/LAN
Transport TCP/IP DCB TCP/IP
Encapsulation Encapsulates Fibre Channel frames within IP packets Encapsulates Fibre Channel frames within Ethernet frames Encapsulates SCSI commands and data within IP packets
IP-routable Yes No Yes

FCIP was designed as a simple tunneling protocol to link Fibre Channel SANs over distance on standard IP networks. Used primarily for remote replication, backup, and storage access, FCIP provides SAN-to-SAN connectivity over IP networks between Fibre Channel devices. FCIP leverages TCP/IP processing, which is essential for maintaining data integrity over long distance for storage applications.

FCoE was designed to consolidate traditional Ethernet and Fibre Channel ports into a single 10 GbE Data Center Bridging (DCB) port. The initial use case for FCoE is I/O consolidation at the server edge within the data center. This helps reduce cable clutter, equipment acquisition costs, and operational costs associated with power consumption and cooling.

iSCSI was designed to connect servers to storage over existing IP infrastructure for smaller to midsize environments. The primary use case is for building lower-cost, lowerperformance SANs that can connect to iSCSI storage or Fibre Channel.

What are FCIP Circuits?

FCIP Circuits are the building blocks for FCIP Tunnels and FCIP Trunking. An FCIP Circuit consists of a source and destination IP address pair and per QoS TCP connections. An Ethernet port can contain one or more circuits. Each circuit automatically creates multiple TCP connections that can be used for QoS prioritization.

What is the impact of FCIP Circuits on FCIP Tunnels?

With the development of FCIP Circuits, an FCIP Tunnel is no longer bound to a single physical interface or single connection to a peer switch. The Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 create FCIP Tunnels that are composed of one or more circuits, enabling FCIP Trunking.

What is FCIP Trunking and how does it work?

FCIP Trunking is an optional licensed feature that enables the creation of logical highbandwidth FCIP tunnels ("FCIP Trunks") composed of multiple circuits, and spanning multiple physical ports. Traffic within an FCIP Trunk is balanced across all FCIP Circuits to optimize bandwidth and performance. FCIP Trunks also overcome physical link failures with redundant paths, lossless path failover, and guaranteed in-order data delivery.

Up to 20 FCIP tunnels are supported on the Brocade FX8-24. Up to eight FCIP tunnels are supported on the Brocade 7800. The Brocade FX8-24 provides up to 10 Gbps bandwidth for a single FCIP Trunk using either 1 GbE ports or the optional 10 GbE ports. The maximum trunk size using the 1 GbE ports on the Brocade FX8-24 and the Brocade 7800 is 10 Gbps and 6 Gbps, respectively.

What is Adaptive Rate Limiting and how does it work?

Adaptive Rate Limiting is an optional licensed feature that dynamically adjusts shared bandwidth between guaranteed minimum rates and uncongested maximum rates for each FCIP circuit within a tunnel or trunk. This overcomes the problem of fixed provisioning of bandwidth that leads to over-provisioning and underutilization of bandwidth. Adaptive Rate Limiting enables applications to exceed guaranteed minimum rates when competing bandwidth is idle.

What is FCIP QoS and how does it work?

FCIP QoS extends Brocade Fabric OS QoS across FCIP links. The extension blade or switch prioritizes traffic as high, medium, or low on a per-flow basis within an FCIP tunnel to optimize bandwidth by application. QoS is enforced only when congestion occurs at egress from the extension blade or switch. FCIP QoS integrates seamlessly with Fabric OS QoS for consistency throughout the entire fabric.

What is Integrated Fibre Channel Routing?

Integrated Fibre Channel Routing is an optional licensed feature that leverages the latest Brocade ASIC technology to provide Fibre Channel Routing on a per-port basis. Because an 8 Gbps port can be made to act as an EX_Port, data can be read/written between fabrics while maintaining remote fabric isolation. Integrated Routing eliminates the need for a dedicated router or consumption of chassis slots with special routing blades—thereby reducing cost, complexity, and management overhead.

Mainframe Technology

Does Brocade support mainframe solutions?

Brocade provides as much as 95 percent of the total extension infrastructure used by the mainframe market, which includes FICON, ESCON, and Bus-and-Tag equipment for local switching or remote business solutions. With over 25 years of experience and thousands of customers around the globe, Brocade offers valued products and services to help organizations meet their critical business objectives.

What is FICON?

FICON is an I/O protocol used between IBM (and compatible) mainframes and storage arrays. It takes the higher-layer ESCON protocol and maps it into a Layer 2 transport frame. It is mapped into the same physical layer and framing specifications as Fibre Channel but is unique to the FICON protocol. FICON and Fibre Channel protocols can reside within the same switching infrastructure.

What Brocade products support FICON extension solutions?

The Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 provide unique solutions for mainframe storage applications, including FICON Disk Emulation for IBM z/OS Global Mirror (zGM), also known as XRC (eXtended Remote Copy) as well as FICON Tape Pipelining for write and read operations for IBM and Sun virtual and standalone tape offerings. Legacy products supporting FICON extension include the Brocade FR4-18i Blade, Brocade 7500, Brocade USD-X, and Brocade Edge M3000.

What licenses are required for FICON functionality?

For Fabric OS fabrics, all functional capabilities required to support FICON are included in the base release. Optional FICON features separately licensed for the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 include:

  • Advanced Accelerator for FICON: Enables high-performance FICON tape and zGM replication over distance
  • FICON Management Server: Control Unit Port (CUP) enables host control of switches in mainframe environments

What is CUP?

Control Unit Port (CUP) is an in-band management function that enables mainframe applications to perform configuration, monitoring, management, and statistics collection functions. Several IBM mainframe management applications require CUP functionality on FICON backbones, directors, or switches.

Do the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 provide ESCON and Bus-and-Tag support?

Yes, Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 support z/OS host connectivity to ESCON and Bus-and-Tag devices via external Optica Prizm (and ESBT) for FICON initiator to ESCON (and Bus-and-Tag) target protocol conversion. The solution provides extension for legacy ESCON and Bus-and-Tag tape controllers and, in the future, some select printers. ESCON and Bus-and-Tag disk is not supported.

What FICON data rates are supported?

Brocade supports FICON at the data rates consistent with industry standards. Host and storage interfaces supported include 1, 2, 4, and 8 Gbps FICON interfaces.

Extension Management

What management tools are available for the Brocade FX8-24 or Brocade 7800?

Management and administrative operations can be performed through familiar Brocade management tools, including Brocade Network Advisor, Brocade DCFM, Brocade Web Tools, and the Command Line Interface (CLI). Moreover, optional FICON CUP capabilities enable IBM mainframe management applications to seamlessly support Brocade FICON environments.

Is Brocade Network Advisor or Brocade DCFM required to manage the Brocade FX8-24 or Brocade 7800?

No. However, Brocade Network Advisor and Brocade DCFM (10.3 and above) do include enhanced FCIP management capabilities that help simplify and unify management of Fibre Channel and FCIP network infrastructures. These capabilities:

  • Provide a comprehensive view of all FCIP tunnels and trunks across all fabrics discovered by DCFM
  • Simplify FCIP tunnel and trunk configuration and management with new FCIP Tunnel dialog
  • Include enhancements for connection properties, switch properties, flyovers, and the topology view
  • Support legacy Brocade FCIP platforms (Brocade 7500 and 7500E Switches and Brocade FR4-18i Blade)

See Table 3 below for the Brocade DCFM platform comparison.

Is there a minimum version of Brocade Network Advisor or Brocade DCFM required for the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800?

Brocade DCFM 10.3 is required to manage the Brocade FX8-24 and Brocade 7800 (see Table 3). Brocade Network Advisor 11.0 and above has the same capabilities.

Table 3. Brocade DCFM Platform Comparison

  Brocade Network Advisor SAN or Brocade DCFM Professional Brocade Network Advisor SAN or Brocade DCFM Professional Plus Brocade Network Advisor SAN or Brocade DCFM Enterprise
Brocade 7800 Included Optional Optional
Brocade FX8-24 with the Brocade DCX 8510-4 or Brocade DCX-4S Included Optional Optional
Brocade FX8-24 with the Brocade DCX 8510-8 or Brocade DCX Not supported Not supported Optional
FICON functionality Not supported Not supported Optional

Documentation:

Download the Brocade FX8-24 Extension Blade Datasheet (PDF).

Pricing Notes:

Brocade Products
Brocade SAN Backbone/Director Blades
Brocade FX8-24 12-port 8 Gbps Fibre Channel Extension Blade
#BR-FX824-0001-A
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