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In-Band Control of a System-Wide Indicator Scheme for all Distributed Enclosures in multiple Fibre Channel Switched Networks for a Single Fibre Channel Domain

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000032754D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Nov-11
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Nov-11
Document File: 2 page(s) / 68K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Provide indicator control for distributed enclosures that are part of a fibre channel network such that the indicators for any enclosure within the network can be controlled from a centralized indicator control center, using Inband Fibre Channel communications. Implementation of this control scheme allows a centralized resource to control service aid indicators in distributed enclosures to assist in maintenance activities, without requiring out of band connectivity to distributed enclosures.

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In-Band Control of a System-Wide Indicator Scheme for all Distributed Enclosures in multiple Fibre Channel Switched Networks for a Single Fibre Channel Domain

Disclosed is a system and method for centralized control of a domain of component indicators that may have interrelated dependencies with respect to the state of the indicators. The development and use of in-band fibre channel communications to centralize control of the state of service aid indicators in distributed enclosures of a fibre channel domain. The implementation requires the implementation to include the necessary hardware in each enclosure to communicate over the fibre channel network to the centralized control center. Each enclosure's SCSI Enclosure Services Function/Processor (SESP) provides the necessary communications interface to the fibre channel network. Each enclosure's SESP manages the enclosure indicators state based upon the commands from the centralized indicator control center located at the hub of the fibre channel domain. The use of Vendor Unique Commands and Sense Data pages allow the communication exchange between the centralized indicator control center and the distributed enclosure SESP to control and report of indicator state over the fibre channel network, adding functions to control the state of the indicators and expand the normal on/off state to on/off/blink/flashing/blip.

The use of a central indicator control center allows the control of indicators in distributed system enclosures in a fibre channel domain. The management and control of service aid indicators is required to allow centralized coordination of service action maintenance activities. The use of a scheme that uses fibre channel network communications allows for a minimum of interconnection between system enclosures.

The management and control of service aid indicators by a centralized resource is important for a distributed system (one that has multiple enclosures) during situations where there are dependencies on the ordering sequence of service actions. A fault that may be easily repairable in some circumstances may cause significant impact to system operations in different circumstances. The central indicator control center provides the capability to implement both an unguided maintenance mode (also known as light path diagnostics driven maintenance) and guided maintenance mode. Without centralized coordination of maintenance/service activities and indicators it would not be possible to manage sequence dependent tasks with a service aid indicator (light path diagnostics indicator)...