Friday, September 22, 2006

FICON Converter

We all know the good old ESCON converter, but there's already a FICON converter too. This converter is designed to 'protect' your ESCON investment. It is attached to the host via 1 or 2 Ficon channels. It converts the protocol for connectivity for multiple ESCON devices with a maximum of 12 outbound ports. It also gives you the opportunity to eliminate costly ESCON directors. Here's a graphical representation :

They are distributed (as far as I know now) by McData and OpticaTech. They have different names but I think it's exactly the same fabric with another label on it.
I'll come back to this when I've got more information on this.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Techdocs & 3584 Slot Calculator

Techdocs is one of those places IBM created which to me are underestimated. I try to check it out quite regularly as you can find lots of information, white papers, tools etc. on Sytem z and storage. In fact it's broader than that also e.g. covering System i and p. You find techdocs here
One document (excel sheet) that caught my attention today is the 3584 calculator. You can give in your configuration of your 3584 and it gives you how much TB you have available. You can also use it for sizing a 3584 playing with number of drives, number of I/O slots, number of frames etc. Here's where you can find the slot calculator

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

TS7700 The drawbacks

I've been doing some reading on the TS7700 Virtualization Engine and there are a few items I would at least take into consideration when choosing a virtualization solution. I'm assuming readers are familiar with the TS7700 concepts in general.
First of all it's big. The difference between the current 216MB on the B10 and the minimum 6TB cache on the TS7700 is huge. There will come an upgrade path from the B20, but NOT from the B10. IBM should've considered giving the cache drawers as an option. In that way cache size would have started at 1.5TB.
There's no more ESCON support on this box. FICON is the future of course, so this is a logical course of action.
The TS7700 cannot connect to a 3494 Tape library, only to the TS3500.
The TS7700 connects to the TS1120 E05 but it has to run in emulation mode as a 3952 J1A. This also means you cannot fully use its speed nor the larger 500MB cartridges.
The GRID configuration "is only available as a plant offering; two standalone TS7700 Virtualization Engines cannot be combined in the field to form a grid". What if you begin with one TS7700 and want to put it in a grid combination afterwards. No can do ?

Monday, September 18, 2006

1st entry

This is just a first note on my blog.
My intention is to write on IBM mainframe topics.
As I have no idea whether I'll be able to post regularly,
I'm just starting this out without mentioning it to anyone.
Should you still come across it : welcome !