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The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA)

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  • Protocol Analysis 201 for High-Speed Fibre Channel Fabrics
    Protocol Analysis 201 for High-Speed Fibre Channel Fabrics
    Yamini Shastry, Viavi Solutions; David Rodgers, Teledyne LeCroy; Joe Kimpler, ATTO Technology Recorded: Apr 11 2019 63 mins
    In the FCIA webcast “Protocol Analysis for High-Speed Fibre Channel Fabrics” experts covered the basics on protocol analysis tools and how to incorporate them into the “best practices” application of SAN problem solving.
    Our experts return for this 201 course which will provide a deeper dive into how to interpret the output and results from the protocol analyzers. We will also share insight into using signal jammers and how to use them to correlate error conditions to be able to formulate real time solutions.

    Root cause analysis requirements now encompass all layers of the fabric architecture, and new storage protocols that usurp the traditional network stack (i.e. FCoE, iWARP, NVMe over Fabrics, etc.) complicate analysis, so a well-constructed “collage” of best practices and effective and efficient analysis tools must be developed. In addition, in-depth knowledge of how to decipher the analytical results and then determine potential solutions is critical.

    Join us for a deeper dive into Protocol Analysis tools and how to interpret the analytical output from them. We will review:
    •Inter switch links (ISL) – How to measure and minimize fabric congestion
    •Post-capture analysis – Graphing, Trace reading, Performance metrics
    •Benefits of purposeful error injection
    •More Layer 2-3 and translation layers debug
    •Link Services and Extended Link Services - LRR Link Ready Rests

    You can watch the 1st webcast on this topic on-demand at http://bit.ly/2MxsWR7
  • FICON 201
    FICON 201
    Patty Driever, IBM; Howard Johnson, Broadcom; Joe Kimpler, ATTO Technologies Recorded: Feb 20 2019 54 mins
    FICON (Fibre Channel Connection) is an upper-level protocol supported by mainframe servers and attached enterprise-class storage controllers that utilizes Fibre Channel as the underlying transport.

    The FCIA FICON 101 webcast (on-demand at http://bit.ly/FICON101) described some of the key characteristics of the mainframe and how FICON satisfies the demands placed on mainframes for reliable and efficient access to data. FCIA experts gave a brief introduction into the layers of architecture (system/device and link) that the FICON protocol bridges. Using the FICON 101 session as a springboard, our experts return for FICON 201 where they will delve deeper into the architectural flow of FICON and how it leverages Fibre Channel to be an optimal mainframe transport.

    Join this live FCIA webcast where you’ll learn:

    - How FICON (FC-SB-x) maps onto the Fibre Channel FC-2 layer
    - The evolution of the FICON protocol optimizations
    - How FICON adapts to new technologies
  • Will You Still Love Me When I Turn 64GFC?
    Will You Still Love Me When I Turn 64GFC?
    Dean Wallace, Marvell; Barry Maskas, HPE Recorded: Dec 11 2018 50 mins
    Fibre Channel’s speed roadmap defines a well-understood technological trend: the need to double the bit rate in the channel without doubling the required bandwidth.

    In order to do this, PAM4 (pulse-amplitude modulation, with four levels of pulse modulation), enters the Fibre Channel physical layer picture. With the use of four signal levels instead of two, and with each signal level corresponding to a two-bit symbol, the standards define 64GFC operation while maintaining backward compatibility with 32GFC and 16GFC.

    This advanced technical session will cover the T11 standards which define 64GFC serial Fibre Channel, backwards speed auto-negotiation compatibility, and compatible form factors:

    •New physical layer and specification challenges for PAM4, which includes eye openings, crosstalk sensitivity, and new test methodologies and parameters
    •Transceivers, their form factors, and how 64GFC maintains backward compatibility with multi-mode fibre cable deployments in the data center, including distance specifications
    •Discussion of protocol changes, and an overview of backward-compatible link speed and forward error correction (FEC) negotiation
    •The FCIA’s Fibre Channel speed roadmap and evolution, and new technologies under consideration

    After you watch the webcast, check out the FCIA Q&A blog: https://fibrechannel.org/64gfc-faq/
  • How to Expand the Power of Flash Storage with FC-NVMe
    How to Expand the Power of Flash Storage with FC-NVMe
    Mark Jones, Craig Carlson, Rupin Mohan, David J. Rodgers, Marcus Thordal, and Dennis Martin Recorded: Nov 1 2018 57 mins
    Flash is really fast, and performance-hungry applications must be able to access it wherever it is located. Luckily, NVMe can take advantage of flash throughout a computer system.

    However, accessing flash over a network can introduce problems which designers must solve. Accesses can take much longer than local flash, latency can rise significantly, networking issues can raise their ugly heads, and performance can vary greatly depending on network load and competition for resources.

    Ways to solve such problems include sequence-level error recovery, prioritization for virtualized environments, and improved forward error correction. And – surprise! – all these are already part of the Fibre Channel standard or the emerging FC-NVMe transport protocol.

    Moderator: Mark Jones, Director Technical Marketing and Performance, Broadcom
    Panelists: Craig Carlson, Senior Technologist, Marvell Semiconductor, Rupin Mohan, Director, R&D, Head of Development, Chief Technologist (SAN), HPE, David J. Rodgers, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, Teledyne LeCroy PSG, Marcus Thordal, Principal Solution Architect, Broadcom and Dennis Martin, Senior Analyst, Principled Technologies.

    After you watch the webcast, check out the Q&A blog at http://bit.ly/2V0KUMl
  • Protocol Analysis for High-Speed Fibre Channel Fabrics
    Protocol Analysis for High-Speed Fibre Channel Fabrics
    David Rodgers, Teledyne LeCroy; Yamini Shastry, Viavi Solutions; Joe Kimpler, ATTO Recorded: Oct 10 2018 62 mins
    Protocol Analysis for High-Speed Fibre Channel Fabrics in the Data Center: Aka, Saving Your SAN (& Sanity)

    The driving force behind adopting new tools and processes in test and measurement practices is the desire to understand, predict, and mitigate the impact of Sick but not Dead (SBND) conditions in datacenter fabrics. The growth and centralization of mission critical datacenter SAN environments has exposed the fact that many small yet seemingly insignificant problems have the potential of becoming large scale and impactful events, unless properly contained or controlled.

    Root cause analysis requirements now encompass all layers of the fabric architecture, and new storage protocols that usurp the traditional network stack (i.e. FCoE, iWARP, NVMe over Fabrics, etc.) for purposes of expedited data delivery place additional analytical demands on the datacenter manager.
    To be sure, all tools have limitations in their effectiveness and areas of coverage, so a well-constructed “collage” of best practices and effective and efficient analysis tools must be developed. To that end, recognizing and reducing the effect of those limitations is essential.

    This webinar will introduce participants to Protocol Analysis tools and how they may be incorporated into the “best practices” application of SAN problem solving. We will review:
    •The protocol of the Phy
    •Use of “in-line” capture tools
    •Benefits of purposeful error injection for developing and supporting today’s high-speed Fibre Channel storage fabrics

    After the webcast, check out the Q&A blog at http://bit.ly/2P0hsqp
  • Fibre Channel Interoperability
    Fibre Channel Interoperability
    Barry Maskas, HPE; Tim Sheehan, University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab; David Rodgers, Teledyne LeCroy Recorded: Aug 23 2018 68 mins
    Interoperability is a primary basis for the predictable behavior of a Fibre Channel (FC) SAN. FC interoperability implies standards conformance by definition. Interoperability also implies exchanges between a range of products, or similar products from one or more different suppliers, or even between past and future revisions of the same products. Interoperability may be developed as a special measure between two products, while excluding the rest, and still be standards conformant. When a supplier is forced to adapt its system to a system that is not based on standards, it is not interoperability but rather, only compatibility.

    Every FC hardware and software supplier publishes an interoperability matrix and per product conformance based on having validated conformance, compatibility, and interoperability. There are many dimensions to interoperability, from the physical layer, optics, and cables; to port type and protocol; to server, storage, and switch fabric operating systems versions; standards and feature implementation compatibility; and to use case topologies based on the connectivity protocol (F-port, N-Port, NP-port, E-port, TE-port, D-port).

    In this session we will delve into the many dimensions of FC interoperability, discussing:

    •Standards and conformance
    •Validation of conformance and interoperability
    •FC-NVMe conformance and interoperability
    •Interoperability matrices
    •Multi-generational interoperability
    •Use case examples of interoperability

    After you watch the webcast, check out the FC Interoperability Q&A blog https://fibrechannel.org/a-qa-on-fibre-channel-interoperability/
  • FICON 101
    FICON 101
    Patty Driever, IBM; Howard Johnson, Broadcom; J Metz, Cisco Recorded: Jun 19 2018 62 mins
    FICON (Fibre Channel Connection) is an upper-level protocol supported by mainframe servers and attached enterprise-class storage controllers that utilize Fibre Channel as the underlying transport. Mainframes are built to provide a robust and resilient IT infrastructure, and FICON is a key element of their ability to meet the increasing demands placed on reliable and efficient access to data. What are some of the key objectives and benefits of the FICON protocol? And what are the characteristics that make FICON relevant in today’s data centers for mission-critical workloads?

    Join us in this live FCIA webcast where you’ll learn:

    • Basic mainframe I/O terminology
    • The characteristics of mainframe I/O and FICON architecture
    • Key features and benefits of FICON

    After you watch the webcast, check out the Q&A blog: https://fibrechannel.org/ficon-webcast-qa/
  • Fibre Channel Cabling
    Fibre Channel Cabling
    Zach Nason, Data Center Systems, Greg McSorley, Amphenol-Highspeed, Mark Jones, Broadcom Recorded: Apr 19 2018 44 mins
    Looking for more cost-effective ways to implement fibre channel cabling? Learn why proper cabling is important and how it fits into data center designs. Join this webcast to hear FCIA experts discuss:
    - Cable and connector types, cassettes, patch panels and other cabling products
    - Variables in Fiber Optic and Copper Cables: Reflectance, Insertion Loss,
    Crosstalk, Speed/Length Limitations and more
    - Different variations of Structured Cabling in an environment with FC
    - Helpful tips when planning and implementing a cabling infrastructure within a SAN

    After you watch the webcast, check out the Q&A blog: http://bit.ly/2KdtEx0
  • Fibre Channel Performance: Congestion, Slow Drain, and Over-Utilization, Oh My!
    Fibre Channel Performance: Congestion, Slow Drain, and Over-Utilization, Oh My!
    Ed Mazurek, Cisco, Earl Apellanes, Broadcom, David Rogers, Teledyne LeCroy Recorded: Feb 6 2018 66 mins
    Today's Fibre Channel SANs are tasked with reliably delivering huge amounts of data with almost zero latency in an environment with a large variance of end device capabilities. Fibre Channel is a lossless network protocol but what ramifications does that have? What is considered a good SAN design and what are best practices? What situations can lead to suboptimal performance? How can a device that is not performing well affect the performance of devices even on different parts of the SAN? Can a device that is returning credits without delay affect the SAN just like a device that is returning credits slowly?

    Get answers to these questions and more in this live FCIA webcast where you’ll learn:

    •How Fibre Channel achieves a lossless data delivery
    •The definition of "slow drain“
    •Basic slow drain indications and what they mean
    •“Over” Utilization - How a device that isn't "slow drain" by the typical definition can affect a SAN in a similar fashion as a slow drain device
    •How to prevent, Identify, and resolve performance problems

    After you watch the webcast, check-out the the FCIA Q&A blog http://bit.ly/2ouWq4b
  • FCIP (Extension): Data Protection and Business Continuity
    FCIP (Extension): Data Protection and Business Continuity
    Rupin Mohan, Director R&D, SAN Chief Technologist, HPE, Mark Detrick, Director, Extension Principal Architect, Brocade Recorded: Dec 7 2017 59 mins
    Businesses today rely heavily on their data. Disaster may strike anywhere and occurs in many shapes and sizes. Transporting data over significant distance beyond the reach of a threatening event preserves data so organizations can rapidly recover in the event of a site going down.

    This makes deploying a disaster recovery infrastructure between data centers with fast, continuous, and easy replication of mission-critical data to anywhere in the world essential.
    Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP), often referred to as “Extension,” is used to connect SANs across distance using IP networks. FCIP is commonly used for Remote Data Replication (RDR) between Enterprise Storage Arrays and Remote Tape applications, for the purpose of Business Continuance via Disaster Recovery (BC/DR).

    Join storage technology and industry experts as they discuss their experience and deployment knowledge in:

    •Best known methods for deployment with extension architectures, extension in routed topologies, and performance optimization for remote replication
    •Industry best practices: topologies to achieve high-availability goals, advantages in trunking, encryption, etc…
    •Customer examples and use cases of a variety of critical production environments ranging from SMBs to the largest most demanding enterprises and government institutions

    After you watch the webcast, check out our Q&A blog: http://fibrechannel.org/fcip-extension-questions-and-their-answers/

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