Tuesday, July 21, 2009

FICON Express8 for System z10

I have another (Dutch) blog where I give people all kinds of tips on the use of computers. In my last post I advised people to stay away from their computers during their holidays. You can surely live without it and your mail won't be running away. Don't tell those other readers, but I'm not really able to stick to that myself. So, here I am, in the midst of my own holiday, blogging about mainframe announcements. Shame on me !

Well, today IBM announced FICON Express8 cards (ZG09-0480), mind you, only for System z10 EC and System z10 BC. A small summary :
  • Link data rate of 8 gigabits per second (Gbps) with autonegotiation to 2 or 4 Gbps. So, as mentioned before, no more autonegotiation to 1 Gbps.
  • Performance improvements when transferring small blocks of fixed size data (4k blocks)
  • With FICON Express8 operating at 8 Gbps, performance improvements for large sequential I/O operations can help reduce the duration of your backup/copy operations
  • High Performance FICON for System z supports multitrack operations
Take a good look at the prerequisites. You need System z10 for zHPF and you need appropriate levels of z/OS to support certain functions. You will also have to pay attention whether any additional feature codes are needed on e.g. the DS8000.

Planned availability
  • July 31, 2009: New build systems and MES orders
  • August 21, 2009: FICON support of System Storage DS8000 series for zHPF multitrack operations
Alongside this announcement, there's another one (Hardware withdrawal: Select IBM System z10 Features - ZG09-0270) announcing the withdrawal of FICON Express4 10KM LX, FICON Express4 SX and FICON Express4 4KM LX cards on the z10. As you see it's just the 4-port cards. The 2-port cards on the z10 BC remain available. This withdrawal is effective October 27, 2009.

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