Some of the increase in fabric complexity comes from the natural growth of storage, as more business is conducted using digital information. But the use of server and storage virtualization to enable cost-effective sharing of pooled physical resources (computing, storage) also increases complexity. It is becoming more difficult to understand the dynamic behavior of the fabric as traffic patterns shift more quickly. This transformation defines important requirements for adaptive networking.
Based on Brocade Frame Filtering technology and a unique performance counter engine, Brocade Advanced Performance Monitoring is a comprehensive tool for monitoring the performance of networked storage resources. This tool helps reduce total cost of ownership and over-provisioning while enabling SAN performance tuning, reporting of service level agreements, and greater administrator productivity.
Brocade Fabric Watch is a Storage Area Network (SAN) health monitor for Brocade switches. Fabric Watch enables each switch to constantly watch its SAN fabric for potential faults - and automatically alert network managers to problems before they become costly failures. Fabric Watch tracks a variety of SAN fabric elements, events, and counters. Monitoring fabric-wide events, ports, transceivers, and environmental parameters permits early fault detection and isolation as well as performance measurement. Unlike many systems monitors, Fabric Watch is easy to configure. Network administrators can select custom fabric elements and alert thresholds - or they can choose from a selection of preconfigured settings. In addition, it is easy to integrate Fabric Watch with enterprise systems management solutions.
This technology is ideal for optimizing performance and simplifying the management of multi-switch SAN fabrics containing Brocade 1, 2, and 4 Gbps switches and directors and the latest 8 Gbps solutions. When two or more adjacent ISLs in a port group are used to connect two switches with trunking enabled, the switches automatically group the ISLs into a single logical ISL, or "trunk". The throughput of the resulting trunk can be anywhere from 4 Gbps to as much as 68 Gbps.
Fiber Channel-based networking technology has revitalized the reliability and performance of server and storage environments - providing a robust infrastructure to meet the most demanding business requirements. In addition to improving reliability and performance, Fiber Channel provides the capability to distribute server and storage connections over distances up to 30 kilometers using enhanced long-wave optics and dark fiber - enabling SAN deployment in campus environments. Extended Fabrics software is ideal for deploying a single extended fabric over dark fiber or DWDM-based Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). These extended distance connections use standard switch ports that provide E Port interconnectivity over extended long-wave transceivers, Fiber Channel repeaters, or DWDM connections. This design provides high bandwidth at long distances, improving scalability with simplified management.
BROCADE ADVANCED PERFORMANCE MONITORING FEATURES:
End-to-end monitoring for switched fabrics
Advanced Performance Monitoring enables administrators to monitor both "transmit" and "receive" traffic from source devices all the way to destination devices. Applications such as Web serving, databases, or e-mail can be analyzed as complete systems with near-real-time performance information about the data traffic between the servers and storage devices.
ISL monitoring helps administrators determine the sources of traffic on ISLs and identify potential bottlenecks within the SAN fabric. In addition, the Top Talker E Port report ranks the highest-bandwidth data flows (source address, destination address) on all E Ports on a switch.
ALPA- and filter-based monitoring
In loop SAN topologies, ALPA-based monitoring enables administrators to collect CRC error counts in Fiber Channel frames for each address. For direct-attach SAN topologies, filter-based monitoring provides CRC error counts for each implemented filter.
Frame filtering on the first 64 bytes
Advanced Performance Monitoring also provides the unique ability to filter any of the first 64 bytes in a Fiber Channel frame. The counter is incremented each time a frame is filtered through the corresponding port.
A counter engine to compile raw data
The counter engine works with the brocade frame filtering capability to collect and compile raw data from the filters into meaningful information. In addition to using the standard filters, administrators can customize filters to qualify frames for statistics gathering.
An improved GUI
Advanced Performance Monitoring makes powerful capabilities simple and easy to use. An enhanced GUI launched from the Brocade Web Tools utility gives administrators "at-a-glance" information needed to anticipate and resolve problems. Administrators can display up to eight performance graphs on a single management "canvas".
Superior investment protection
To utilize Advanced Performance Monitoring, the data path of the target must flow through a Brocade SAN switch or director with Frame Filtering capabilities. Existing Brocade devices do not need to be replaced or modified.
BROCADE FABRIC WATCH FEATURES:
Constant monitoring for large, heterogeneous SAN fabrics
For a growing number of organizations, SAN fabrics are a mission-critical part of their systems architecture. These fabrics can include hundreds of elements, such as hosts, storage devices, switches, and Inter-Switch Links (ISLs).
Automatic event notification
Fabric Watch lets administrators define how often to measure each switch and fabric element and specify notification thresholds. Whenever fabric elements exceed these thresholds, Fabric Watch automatically provides an event notification that can send a message to an e-mail address.
Flexible event data
Fabric Watch provides event notifications in several different formats to help ensure that event details are accessible from all platforms and operating systems.
Seamless integration with existing management tools
Network administrators can easily integrate Fabric Watch with existing enterprise systems management tools.
Rapid deployment and configuration
Fabric Watch is designed for rapid deployment, custom configuration, and immediate fabric monitoring. Network administrators can easily create and modify configuration files using a text editor, and then distribute configurations to all the switches in the SAN through Brocade Fabric OS configuration management utilities.
BROCADE INTER-SWITCH LINK TRUNKING FEATURES:
Increased performance with ISL Trunking
ISL Trunking is designed to significantly reduce traffic congestion in storage networks.
Dynamic path selection for optimized performance
To further optimize network performance, Brocade 4 and 8 Gbps switches and directors support optional Dynamic Path Selection (DPS). Available as a standard feature in Brocade Fabric OS, exchange-based DPS optimizes fabric-wide performance by automatically routing data to the most efficient available path in the fabric.
BROCADE EXTENDED FABRICS FEATURES:
A better way to extend connectivity
Brocade Extended Fabrics is a licensed feature for Brocade SAN switches and directors, enabling organizations to leverage the increased availability of DWDM equipment in major metropolitan areas. The most effective configuration for implementing extended-distance SAN fabrics is to deploy Fiber Channel switches at each location in the SAN.
Advanced buffering for higher performanceProduct Highlights
Extended Fabrics software is ideal for deploying a single extended fabric over dark fiber or DWDM-based Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). These extended distance connections use standard switch ports that provide E Port interconnectivity over extended long-wave transceivers, Fiber Channel repeaters, or DWDM connections. This design provides high bandwidth at long distances, improving scalability with simplified management.
- Increases end-to-end visibility into the fabric for more effective design and planning
- Improves performance tuning and resource optimization
- Shortens troubleshooting time
- Promotes better capacity planning Increases productivity with preformatted and customizable screens and reports
- Enables more accurate reporting for service level agreements and charged access applications
- Increase availability and avoid costly failures by monitoring numerous fabric and switch elements
- Receive automatic event notifications when switch and fabric elements exceed thresholds
- Quickly identify and isolate faults
- Monitor and optimize fabric-wide performance
- Easily integrate Fabric Watch with enterprise systems management solutions
- Enhance manageability by mitigating the need for multiple, vendor-specific monitoring tools
- Combines up to eight ISLs into a single logical trunk that provides up to 68 Gbps data transfers
- Optimizes link usage by evenly distributing traffic across all ISLs at the frame level
- Maintains in-order delivery to ensure data reliability
- Helps ensure reliability and availability even if a link in the trunk fails
- Optimizes fabric-wide performance and load balancing with Dynamic Path Selection (DPS)
- Simplifies management by reducing the number of ISLs required
- Provides a high-performance solution for network- and data-intensive applications
- Provides switched fabric connectivity to move more data over longer distances at a lower cost
- Extends all of the scalability, reliability, and performance benefits of Fiber Channel SANs beyond traditional distance limitations
- Enables an innovative disaster recovery approach for reliable, fast data transfer to remote backup facilities
- Protects investments by operating with 1, 2, 4, and 8 Gbps Brocade fixed and modular Fiber Channel solutions
- Maximizes bandwidth by leveraging dark fiber and leading-edge Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) technology - providing more links over longer distances
- Enhances business continuance by facilitating strategic applications such as wide area data replication, high-speed remote backup, and remote storage centralization