IBM United States
Hardware Announcement 102-209
August 13, 2002

New Functions for IBM eServer zSeries Servers Enhance Connectivity

 ENUS102-209.PDF (29KB)

(Corrected on September 3, 2002)

In the Description section, the Availability of OSA-Express Enhancements section was updated.

At a Glance

New connectivity and Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) functions on zSeries servers (z800 and z900).

  • zSeries FICON support of cascaded directors
  • FICON Express support of 2 Gbps link data rate and auto-negotiation
  • Support for Multiple Secondary Router Settings for QDIO
  • GDPS/Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (PPRC) hyperswap function
  • Peer-to-Peer Virtual Tape Server (VTS) support for a GDPS/Extended Remote Copy (XRC) configuration
  • HMC support for GDPS/PPRC and GDPS/XRC configurations

For ordering, contact:

Your IBM representative, an IBM Business Partner, or IBM Americas Call Centers at 800-IBM-CALL (Reference: YE001).


IBM is announcing new functions in a continuing quest to provide connectivity options for Fibre Connection (FICON™) and Open Systems Adapter Express (OSA-Express) in the zSeries environment.

Two new offerings in support of FICON environments are being offered.

  • FICON configurations may now support two cascaded directors. This support is offered for the FICON and FICON Express features when configured as a native FICON channel (FC Channel Path Identifier [CHPID] type), including FICON Channel-to-Channel (CTC). Cascading is already supported in the Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP CHPID type) environment.
  • The zSeries FICON Express features now support a link data rate of 2 Gigabits per second (Gbps). This support is offered for the FICON Express features when configured as native FICON (FC CHPID type) or Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP CHPID type).

In response to customer requirements, the OSA-Express features, when configured for Queued Direct Input/Output (QDIO) mode (OSD CHPID type), now support the setting of multiple secondary routing partitions, in addition to the one primary routing partition.

IBM is announcing enhancements to Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex™ (GDPS™).

  • GDPS/Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (PPRC) hyperswap function is designed to broaden the continuous availability attributes of GDPS/PPRC by extending the Parallel Sysplex® redundancy to disk subsystems.
  • Peer-to-Peer Virtual Tape Server (VTS) support for a GDPS/Extended Remote Copy (XRC) configuration.
  • Enhanced HMC support for GDPS/PPRC and GDPS/XRC configurations.

Key Prerequisites

zSeries FICON support of cascaded directors is planned to be included in the January 31, 2003, maintenance level of driver 3G for the z800 and z900 servers. This function also requires, either of IBM's re-marketed INRANGE FC/9000 or McDATA Intrepid FICON directors with cascading support when available and z/OS™ V1.3 or V1.4 with service as defined in the PSP Buckets for device type 2032 or 2042, or processor 2064 or 2066.

Support of 2 Gbps link data rates and the setting of multiple secondary routing partitions for OSA are included in the latest maintenance levels of driver 3G for the z800 and z900 servers.

Prerequisites for GDPS may be found in the GDPS white paper at:

or by sending a note to

Planned Availability Dates

  • January 31, 2003, for zSeries FICON support of cascaded directors
  • August 13, 2002, for FICON-Express feature support of 2 Gbps links
  • August 13, 2002, for OSA-Express feature support for setting multiple secondary routing partitions
  • December 27, 2002, for GDPS/PPRC hyperswap function
  • June 24, 2002, for Peer-to-Peer Virtual Tape Server (VTS) support for a GDPS/XRC configuration
  • June 24, 2002, for Enhanced HMC support for GDPS/PPRC and GDPS/XRC configurations


zSeries FICON Support of Cascaded Directors

Today, IBM is announcing an enhancement to Native FICON (FC Channel Path Identifier [CHPID] type) channels, adding zSeries FICON support of cascaded directors, planned to be available on January 31, 2003. This support is for a two-switch configuration only. With cascading, a Native FICON (FC CHPID type) channel or a FICON Channel to Channel (CTC) can connect a server to a device or other server with two native FICON directors in between. This cascaded director support is planned to be delivered in conjunction with IBM's re-marketed INRANGE FC/9000 and McDATA Intrepid FICON directors. Cascaded director support (sometimes referred to as cascaded switching) is for single-vendor fabrics only.

This announcement pertains to all Native FICON (FC CHPID type) channels implemented on either existing FICON features on z900, or new/existing FICON Express features on z900 and z800. This announcement is for Native FICON (FC CHPID type) channels only including FICON CTC.

IBM plans to support a limited number of early installations for qualified customers through IBM's Early Support Program. Contact your IBM representative if you are interested in participating in this program.

Cascaded support is important for disaster recovery and business continuity solutions. It can provide high-availability connectivity as well as the potential for fiber infrastructure cost savings for extended storage networks. FICON two director cascaded technology can allow for shared links and therefore improved utilization of intersite connected resources and infrastructure. Solutions such as Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) can benefit from the reduced inter-site configuration complexity that Native FICON cascaded directors provide. While specific cost savings vary depending upon infrastructure, workloads and size of data transfers, generally customers who have data centers separated between two sites may reduce the number of cross site connections by using cascaded directors. Further savings may be realized in the reduction of the number of channels and switch ports.

Another important value of FICON cascaded directors is its ability to provide high integrity data paths. The high integrity function is an integral component of the FICON architecture when configuring FICON channel paths through a cascaded fabric. To support the introduction of FICON cascaded switching, IBM has worked with the FICON director vendors to help ensure that robustness in the channel to control unit path is maintained to the same high standard of error detection, recovery, and data integrity, that has existed for many years with both ESCON® and the initial implementation of FICON.

End-to-end data integrity is designed to be maintained through the cascaded director fabric. Data integrity helps ensure that any changes to the customer's data streams are always detected, and the data frames (data streams) are delivered to the correct end point (an end point being a FICON channel port or a FICON Control Unit [CU] port). For FICON channels, Cyclic Redundancy Checking (CRC), and Longitudinal Redundancy Checking (LRC) are bit patterns added to the customer data streams to allow for detection of any bit changes in the data stream. With FICON cascaded switching, new integrity features are introduced within the FICON channel and the FICON cascaded switch fabric to help ensure the detection and reporting of any miscabling actions occurring within the fabric during operational use that may cause a frame to be delivered to the wrong end point.

Compatibility: A FICON channel when configured to operate with a cascaded switch fabric, requires that the switch fabric supports high integrity. During initialization, the FICON channel will query the switch fabric to determine that it supports high integrity, and if it does, then the channel will complete the initialization process allowing the channel to operate with the fabric. Both McDATA and INRANGE may offer features to support high integrity cascading. For more information on availability, contact McDATA and INRANGE directly.

Once a FICON switch fabric has been customized to support FICON cascaded switching and the required switches have been customized in the fabric switch list, the fabric will check that its inter-switch-links (ISLs) are installed to the correct switches before they are made operational. Once the ISLs are operational, any changes to the ISL connections will be checked by switches within the fabric before they can be used (the connected switches must be in the switch fabric list). With this checking, if an ISL is incorrectly installed, the fabric is designed to stop using the links for customer data streams thereby preventing frames from being delivered to the wrong end points.

FICON Express Features Support 2 Gbps Link Speeds

IBM announces the availability of 2 Gbps links for the zSeries FICON Express features configured as native FICON (FC CHPID type) or Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP CHPID type). This 2 Gbps support is available for the FICON Express features on zSeries 900 and zSeries 800.

This announcement is consistent with the industry's movement to support of 2 Gbps link data rates as defined by the industry standard, Fibre Channel architecture. The FICON Express features are capable of auto-negotiation with the attached device to operate at 1 or 2 Gbps.

Applications with highly sequential large data transfers of all reads or all writes (previously limited to 100 Megabytes per second [MB/s] with the 1 Gbps link) can now achieve up to 150 to 170 MB/s with the 2 Gbps link, which means up to a 50 to 70 % improvement in the effective data throughput.

To benefit from 2 Gbps link data rates, the infrastructure needs to be positioned to take advantage of this higher data rate capability. For 2 Gbps link capability, each FICON/Fibre Channel port and each FICON/Fibre Channel device must be capable of 2 Gbps, for a 2 Gbps end-to-end data path.

For FICON/Fibre Channel directors, 2 Gbps support is, or is planned to be, available for IBM remarketed McDATA and INRANGE directors. The McDATA Intrepid 6064 director introduced a 2 Gbps Fibre Channel capability earlier this year (IBM 2032-064). Refer to for additional details. The INRANGE FC/9000 Fibre Channel director is expected to support a 2 Gbps link data rate, (64-port IBM 2042-001, 128-port IBM 2042-128). Refer to for additional details.

For IBM Disk Drives, 2 Gbps support is available with the IBM TotalStorage™ Enterprise Storage Server™ (ESS) Machine Type 2105, Model 800. As announced on July 15, 2002, the ESS General availability is planned to be August 16, 2002. Refer to Hardware Announcement 102-201 , dated July 15, 2002.

The major benefit for disk transfers will be increased data throughput. Theoretically, up to twice the data may be transferred over the same number of connections when the link speed is doubled.

Note: In most applications, the sustained throughput is 70 to 80% of the maximum theoretical speeds.

The following matrix contrasts the unrepeated distances capable when using single mode or multimode fiber at 1 Gbps and 2 Gbps.

                               1 Gbps link            2 Gbps link
Fiber Type        Light     Unrepeated  Link       Unrepeated  Link
in Microns (u)    Source    Distance    Budget     Distance    Budget
9 u single mode   LX laser  10 km       7.8 dB     10 km       7.8 dB
                            6.2 miles   6.2 miles
50 u multimode    SX laser  500 meters  3.9 dB     300 meters  2.8 dB
                            1640 feet   984 feet
62.5 u multimode  SX laser  250 meters  2.8 dB     120 meters  2.2 dB
                            820 feet    394 feet

Note: These numbers reflect the Fibre Channel Physical Interface specification. The link budget above is derived from combining the channel insertion loss budget with the unallocated link margin budget. The light budget numbers have been rounded to the nearest 10th.

Refer also to Planning for Fiber Optic Links (ESCON, FICON, Coupling Links, and Open Systems Adapters), GA23-0367-07b or higher, which can be found on ResourceLink.

Care should be taken to ensure that the tactical as well as the strategic requirements for your data center, Storage Area Network (SAN), and Network Attached Storage (NAS) infrastructures are taken into consideration as you employ 2 Gbps and beyond link data rates.

Note: Mode Conditioning Patch (MCP) cables are not supported at the 2 Gbps link data rate.

Additionally, as distance solutions are planned, attention must be paid to the types of fiber optic cabling employed and the associated distance limitations. Dense Wave® Division Multiplexing (DWDM) and optical amplifier technologies may soon be or may be available in 2 Gbps link speeds from Cisco Systems and Nortel Networks. For more information on availability, contact these vendors directly.

Note that in the FICON/FCP environment, a single vendor fabric is supported; there cannot be a mix of Nortel Networks and Cisco Systems equipment in the same SAN. Neither can there be a mix of McDATA and INRANGE directors in the same SAN.

Network Connectivity Update

Support for Multiple Secondary Router Settings: Presently an OSA-Express feature allows the setting of two routing stacks/interfaces (one primary and one secondary) that serve as receptors for all Internet Protocol (IP) packets with IP destination addresses not matching a registered IP address on the OSA-Express feature. For QDIO, these designations are presently set through a statement in the TCP/IP profile on z/OS and z/VM™ and in the chandev.conf file on Linux.

You will now be able to define multiple secondary routers (only one Primary) for QDIO Gigabit Ethernet and Fast Ethernet only. IP packets received from the Local Area Network (LAN) with an unknown destination address will be routed in the following manner:

  1. If the primary is defined, the IP packets will be routed to the primary.
  2. If one or more secondary stacks/interfaces are defined and the primary stack/interface is not active, the IP packets will be forwarded to one of the active stacks/interfaces that has the secondary routing indicator enabled.

There is no way to explicitly set the order of the secondary routers.

The latest level of zSeries Licensed Internal Code (LIC) is required for this support. There is no prerequisite software level required for this support.

Availability of OSA-Express Enhancements

IBM announced OSA-Express enhancements for networking on April 30, 2002. The hardware support became available May 15, 2002. Now, IBM is announcing the availability of the following functions in the z/OS Version 1 Release 4 environment.

  • Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) support for the OSA-Express Gigabit Ethernet and Fast Ethernet features when configured in Queued Direct Input/Output (QDIO) mode.
  • Direct SNMP Query support for all of the OSA-Express features when configured in QDIO mode.
  • TCP/IP Broadcast support for all of the OSA-Express features when configured in QDIO mode, and supporting the Routing Information Protocol (RIP) Version 1.
  • ARP Cache Management support — Purge ARP entries in cache for Internet Protocol Version 4 (IPv4). This Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) enhancement is being offered for all of the OSA-Express features when configured in QDIO mode when using IPv4.

Refer to Software Announcement 202-190 , dated August 13, 2002.

Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex (GDPS) Enhancements: GDPS, an industry leading e-business availability solution, available through IBM Global Services, is a multisite solution that is designed to provide the capability to manage the remote copy configuration and storage subsystems, automate Parallel Sysplex operational tasks, and perform failure recovery from a single point of control, thereby helping to improve application availability. GDPS supports both the synchronous Peer-to-Peer Remote Copy (PPRC), as well as the asynchronous Extended Remote Copy (XRC) forms of remote copy. Depending on the form of remote copy, the solution is referred to as GDPS/PPRC or GDPS/XRC. GDPS/PPRC and GDPS/XRC have been enhanced to include the following new functions:

  • GDPS/PPRC hyperswap function is designed to broaden the continuous availability attributes of GDPS/PPRC by extending the Parallel Sysplex redundancy to disk subsystems. GDPS/PPRC hyperswap function provides the ability to transparently switch all primary PPRC disk subsystems with the secondary PPRC disk subsystems for a planned switch reconfiguration. Planned to become available in the second half of 2002, it is designed to provide the ability to perform disk configuration maintenance and planned site maintenance without requiring any applications to be quiesced.
  • Peer-to-Peer Virtual Tape Server (VTS) support for a GDPS/XRC configuration. Peer-to-Peer (PtP) VTS support was initially announced for a GDPS/PPRC configuration in November 2001. PtP VTS support has now been extended to a GDPS/XRC configuration. The PtP VTS provides a hardware-based duplex tape solution and GDPS is designed to automatically manage the duplexed tapes in the event of a site failure. By extending GDPS support to data resident on tape, the GDPS solution is designed to provide continuous availability and near transparent business continuity benefit for both disk and tape resident data. Enterprises should no longer be forced to develop and utilize processes that create duplex tapes and maintain the tape copies in alternate sites.
  • Enhanced HMC support for GDPS/PPRC and GDPS/XRC configuration. GDPS/PPRC and GDPS/XRC configurations are significantly enhanced in terms of availability and simplified configuration. These enhancements are made available for GDPS configurations by use of new operating system support which is designed to eliminate the need for a previously required workstation in the GDPS configuration, thus simplifying the configuration. This support is available with zSeries driver 3G and G5/G6 driver 26, with current maintenance levels, and OS/390 2.10 and later with the service defined in the PSP Bucket for MSYSOPS.

For a more detailed description of GDPS and these functions, refer to the white paper available at:

Order Now

 Use Priority/Reference Code: YE001
 Phone:     800-IBM-CALL
 Fax:       800-2IBM-FAX
 Mail:      IBM Atlanta Sales Center
            Dept. YE001
            P.O. Box 2690
            Atlanta, GA  30301-2690

You can also contact your local IBM Business Partner or IBM representative. To identify them, call 800-IBM-4YOU.

Note: Shipments will begin after the planned availability date.


The e-business logo, zSeries, FICON, Geographically Dispersed Parallel Sysplex, GDPS, z/OS, TotalStorage, Enterprise Storage Server, and z/VM are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Parallel Sysplex, ESCON, and Wave are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both.
Other company, product, and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others.

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