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Architecture for Low Cost Fibre Channel Mini-Hub Encapsulated in a Single GBIC Package

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013755D
Original Publication Date: 2001-Jan-30
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 4 page(s) / 100K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Overview: In low cost Fibre Channel implementations the cost of hubs become a significant cost problem to the solution. This is especially true when in an MSCS cluster environment and using RAID controllers that have a single port to the host from each controller. Since the RAID controllers being used accept GBICs for their interconnection to the port, packaging a port bypass circuit as a minihub inside of the GBIC allows multi-host node connection for full redundancy at a minimal cost. No external hubs or additional Fibre Channel cables are required with this solution. Solution: Since a single host port on a controller only has a place for a single GBIC, sharing the controller for redundancy purposes is not viable without using an external hub that adds significant cost to the solution and takes additional rack space. The IBM 3542 is such a controller unit. Figure 1 below shows the configuration problem and how an external hub is needed.

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Page 1 of 4

  Architecture for Low Cost Fibre Channel Mini-Hub Encapsulated in a Single GBIC Package

Overview:

In low cost Fibre Channel implementations the cost of hubs become a significant cost problem to the solution. This is especially true when in an MSCS cluster environment and using RAID controllers that have a single port to the host from each controller. Since the RAID controllers being used accept GBICs for their interconnection to the port, packaging a port bypass circuit as a minihub inside of the GBIC allows multi-host node connection for full redundancy at a minimal cost. No external hubs or additional Fibre Channel cables are required with this solution.

Solution:

Since a single host port on a controller only has a place for a single GBIC, sharing the controller for redundancy purposes is not viable without using an external hub that adds significant cost to the solution and takes additional rack space. The IBM 3542 is such a controller unit. Figure 1 below shows the configuration problem and how an external hub is needed.

FC host adapter

FC host adapter

FC host adapter

FC host adapter

Both servers have access to a controller

In Figure 1 there is only one path into each controller so that an external hub is needed to allow both servers to be on the loop with each controller for MSCS redundancy. Figure 2 shows the Mini-hub GBIC connection and removal of the external hubs.

1

FAStT200 RAID Controller Unit

FC Hubs

Host side

GBIC

FC Drive

OUT

IN

A

IN

B

OUT

GBIC

Redundant Servers

Figure 1

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Page 2 of 4

Both...