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Synopsis: Designs with best practices for a two-site data center disaster recovery solution using Brocade Fiber Channel ISL connections over extended distance. The most common reason for extending a Fibre Channel (FC) storage area network (SAN) over extended distances is to safeguard critical business data and provide near-continuous access to applications and services in the event of a localized disaster.
From the business perspective, applications and their data need to be classified by how critical they are for business operation, how often data must be backed up, and how quickly it needs to be recovered in the event of failure.
From a technology perspective, there are several choices for the optical transport network and configuration options for the FC SAN when it is extended over distance.
Brocade is a leader in Fibre Channel SAN switching providing a broad product portfolio with unique features the designer can leverage for cost-effective and efficient SAN distance extension. This guide describes how to design SAN distance extension for a disaster recovery (DR) solution using Brocade Fibre Channel SAN products and the Brocade Fabric Operating System (FOS). This document is intended for disaster recovery planners and SAN architects who are evaluating and deploying DR solutions that use SAN distance extension for storage data.
This design guide is intended to provide guidance and recommendations based on best practices for a two-site data center disaster recovery solution using Fiber Channel ISL connections over extended distance. BrocadeA® (NASDAQ: BRCD) networking solutions help the worlda€™s leading organizations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. Innovative Ethernet and storage networking solutions for data center, campus, and service provider networks help reduce complexity and cost while enabling virtualization and cloud computing to increase business agility. To help ensure a complete solution, Brocade partners with world-class IT companies and provides comprehensive education, support, and professional services offerings.
This design guide is based on the Data Center Infrastructure Base Reference Architecture building blocks.
Note Fabric A and Fabric B are shown indicating the use of two physically independent SAN fabrics to connect servers to storage arrays. The Core Backbone block uses ISL links with a long distance optical network as shown by the cloud labeled a€?San Distance Extension with ISLsa€?. As more applications drive business value, and the associated data becomes key to competitive advantage, cost-effective protection of the applications and data from site disasters and extended outages has become the norm. It is helpful to review the following special considerations that apply to Fibre Channel SAN distance extension. There are two basic types of optical fiber, Multimode Fiber (MMF) and Single-Mode Fiber (SMF). There are several types of single-mode fiber, each with different characteristics that should take into consideration when deploying a SAN extension solution. A key part of designing SANs over long distance optical networks involves analyzing fiber loss and optical power budgets.
The optical power budget identifies how much attenuation can occur across a fiber span while still maintaining sufficient output power for the receiver. Optical Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) transceivers are available in short- and long-wavelength types.
Optical transceivers often provide monitoring capabilities that can be viewed through FC switch management tools, allowing some level of diagnostics of the actual optical transceiver itself. Virtual Channel (VC_RDY) a€“ VC_RDY is the default method and uses multiple lanes or channels, each with different buffer credit allocations, to prioritize traffic types and prevent head-of-line blocking. To differentiate different data flows of end-to-end device traffic to avoid head-of-line blocking.
Receiver Ready (R_RDY) a€“ R_RDY is defined in the ANSI T-11 standards and uses a single lane or channel for all frame types. When Brocade switches are configured to use R_RDY flow control, other mechanisms are used to enable QoS and prevent head-of-line blocking. Before considering FC-level buffer allocation, note that the availability of sufficient FC-level buffering is not itself sufficient to guarantee bandwidth utilization.
While exact calculations are possible, a simple rule of thumb is often used to calculate the BB credit requirement of a given link. Having insufficient BB credits will not cause link failure, but it will reduce the maximum throughput.
In the example cited above, the 1-ms link running at 4 Gbps with only 100 BB credits can achieve a maximum throughput of approximately 2 Gbps. Long distance links using VC_RDY flow control can be part of an ISL trunk group if they are configured for the same speed and distance and the distances of all links are nearly equal.
Dynamic Path Selection (DPS), also called Exchange Based Routing, is a feature first available for 4 Gbps products and later. With the 16 Gbps products such as the DCX 8510 Backbone switch, in-flight encryption and compression can be applied at an egress E_Port of an ISL between two Brocade switches. FEC can recover bit errors for 10 Gbps and 16 Gbps ports for both FC frames and FC primitives. There are a number of methods in which FC SANs can be extended over long-distance optical networks. The term a€?dark fibera€? typically refers to fiber optic cabling that has been laid, but remains unlit or unused. Brocade and its partners have a list of fully tested and qualified optics for various distances.
Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) - DWDM is optimized for high-speed, high-capacity networks and long distances.
Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing (CWDM) a€“ CWDM provides the same optical transport and features of DWDM, but at a lower capacity, which allows for lower cost.
Traditionally SFP based solutions were used as a low cost solution and so were mostly CWDM based. Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) takes multiple client-side data channels, such as FC, and maps them onto a single higher-bit-rate channel for transmission on a single wavelength. Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) and Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) are standards for transmission of digital information over optical networks and are often the underlying transport protocols that carry enterprise voice, video, data and storage traffic across metropolitan and wide area networks.
Like TDM, FC-SONET devices typically require special switch configuration to ensure the use of Idle rather than ARB primitives for compatibility.
Many distance extension devices have several options for providing fault tolerance and high availability of ISL connections. Early generation Brocade switch platforms (1 and 2 Gbps) were designed with a short loss-of-sync timer that can cause a SAN Fabric to reinitialize whenever an optical ring protection switch occurred.
Any frames in flight during a protection switch will be lost and must be retried by the initiating end device. It is also important to note that if a frame-based ISL Trunk is used, the physical link de-skew value is calculated when the trunk forms.
As distances increase, frame-based trunking may not be advisable particularly when ita€™s necessary to assign extended distance ports to different port groups to maximize buffer credit availability. Jeanette, a workplace strategist then engages Waldner’s in the specification process. Once the install has been completed, Waldner’s and CA host a soft opening to aid employees with a smooth transition to their new environment. Whether your business is a single office or a major corporation, and whether business is expanding, relocating or reorganizing, CSI will custom design, install and maintain a work environment best suited for your particular needs.
Our highly qualified and experienced team will respond quickly and accurately to your needs.
You may not copy, republish, redistribute or commercially exploit in any manner any of these materials without prior written permission of CSI.
CSI helps clients keep track of their office furniture inventory with an online inventory management system.
Photos are included in the status updates so customers can view their inventory on an ongoing basis. When it comes to warehousing and distribution, material-handling equipment is a key part to any operation.

TestimonialsFirst Access purchased our used pallet rack and other warehouse equipment when we downsized. Organize sports equipment, work tools, garden tools and other household items with our versatile line of garage organizers. Our Slat Wall storage system is highly efficient, strong and durable and combines flexibility and convenience.
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Designing a distance extension solution involves a number of considerations, both business and technical.
Two key metrics are the Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and the Recovery Time Objective (RTO). Applications with strict RTO and RPO require high-speed synchronous or near-synchronous replication between sites with application clustering over distance for immediate service recovery. The design topology shown has been configured and validated in Brocadea€™s Strategic Solution Validation Lab.
An alternative solution that uses Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) will be covered in a separate design guide. This design is based on the Data Center Infrastructure Base Reference Architecture which includes SAN building blocks and templates. This vision is designed to deliver key business benefits such as unmatched simplicity, non-stop networking, application optimization, and investment protection.
Both edge blocks connect to the Core Backbone block using ISL Trunks, providing automatic frame based flow balancing over multiple ISL links for highest utilization with mixed traffic flows. The Brocade DCS and DCX Backbone switches support virtual fabrics allowing ports from the same switch to be allocated to logically isolated fabrics. This is an innovative feature available on Brocade DCX and DCX Backbone switches providing very high bandwidth trunks between core switches without consuming ports on port cards allowing all port card ports to be used for connecting arrays and for ISL Trunks to edge switches. Modern storage arrays provide synchronous as well as asynchronous array-to-array replication over extended distances.
It is important to understand the Fibre Channel protocol and the optical transport technology and how they interact. Multimode fiberis generally used for short distance spans and is common for interconnecting SAN equipment within the data center.
The three main transmission windows in which loss is minimal are in the 850, 1310, and 1550 nm ranges. It is determined by finding the difference between a€?worst-casea€? launch power and receiver sensitivity.
This value should be within the power budget to maintain a valid connection between devices.
If the optical signal is greater than the maximum receiver sensitivity, the receiver may become oversaturated and not be able to decode the signal, causing link errors or even total failure of the connection. Short wavelength transceivers transmit at 850 nm and are used with 50 or 62.5 Aµm multimode fiber cabling.
Other Brocade products do not enforce optics rules but qualified or certified optics only should be used as shown in the latest Brocade Compatibility Matrix, Transceivers Quick Reference section (see the References below). Fabric internal traffic is generated by switches that communicate with each other to exchange state information (such as link state information for routing and device information for Name Service). Based on the speed of light in an optical cable, a full-size FC frame spans approximately 4 km at 1 Gbps, 2 km at 2 Gbps, 1 km at 4 Gbps, 500m at 8 Gbps , 200m at 16 Gbps  or 400 m at 10 Gbps. Within a Frame based trunk, the maximum allowed difference between shortest and longest links is approximately 400 meters. Exchanged-based routing policy, used to interleave FC exchanges across multiple ISLs, can be used with either type of flow control.
DPS applies at a fabric level and has no restrictions on co-location of ports on a given switch or even on their going the same route through the fabric. It does not carry any FC control or data traffic and is supported on E_Ports and also F_Ports if a Brocade 1860 adaptor is used in the server. Any of the following technologies can provide a viable long-distance connectivity solution, but choosing the appropriate one can depend on a number of variablesa€”including technological, cost, or scalability needs. The simplest, but not necessarily most cost effective or scalable method for extending SANs over distance, is to connect FC switches directly to the dark fiber using long-wavelength SFP transceivers. In addition a wider selection of parts has been certified through the Brocade Data Centre Ready group.
DWDM is suitable for large enterprises and service providers who lease wavelengths to customers. CWDM is generally designed for shorter distances (typically 50 to 80 km) and thus does not require specialized amplifiers and high-precision lasers (lower cost).
A transponder is used to convert these signals using Optical-to-Electrical-to-Optical (O-E-O) conversion to WDM frequencies for transport across a single fiber. Coarse or Dense WDM SFPs are like any standard transceiver used in Fibre Channel switches, except that they transmit on a particular frequency within a WDM band.
TDM can be used in conjunction with a WDM solution to provide additional scalability and bandwidth utilization. The options provide different levels of availability and can be used alone or combined for increased availability requirements.
Multiple ISLs use the optical transport network providing both additional bandwidth and high availability in the case of a port failure on the FC switch or the distance extension equipment. This provides protection from a port or line card failure in the distance extension product, but does not provide any protection from port failure on the FC switch. De-skew is necessary to ensure in-order delivery of frames across all physical links in the ISL trunk. Solutions from CA Technologies enable customers to manage and secure IT environments and deliver more flexible IT services to the business faster. Jeanette Sabino, Principal Workplace Strategist at CA corporate is responsible for furniture specification and ordering for the many locations. Employees are encouraged to get comfortable with the new furniture and technology and taught how to best make use of it. The tech company chose Waldner’s because of their networking capabilities, ability to source local installation companies and other products.
We are trained in the aesthetics, mechanics and ergonomics of space planning and furniture systems design.
It reduces inventory shrinkage by accurately tracking and storing unused furniture until it is needed again. We offer a full assortment of affordable, expandable and easy to use garage organizers, wall racks, hangers, overhead storage racks and garage shelving units.
Once the grid is secure, individual organizers simply lock in place without additional hardware.
The RPO is the time period between backup points and describes the acceptable loss of data after a failure has occurred. By stretching ISLs over extended distances (a few kilometers to more than 100 Km), data replication traffic can use Fibre Channel as the transport to a remote data center.
The Edge Access Gateway block is commonly used with embedded FC switches found in blade servers. Again, dual physically independent fabrics are connected to the long distance optical transport network for high availability and resiliency. The storage array(s) replicates changes to the data blocks to an array(s) in a remote datacenter. When the array provides block-level storage for applications, Fibre Channel is the primary network technology used to connect the storage arrays to servers, both physical and virtual. Single-modefiber has a smaller core diameter of 9 Aµm and carries only a single mode of light through the waveguide. DSF was optimized for 1550 nm, but introduced additional problems when deployed in Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) environments.

The table below lists common fiber types and the average optical loss incurred by distance for both multimode (MM) and single mode (SM) fiber. The dB loss can be determined by comparing the launch power of a device to the receive power.
Transceiver and other optical equipment vendors typically provide these specifications for their equipment. For fiber spans greater than several hundred meters without regeneration, use long-wavelength transceivers with 9 Aµm single-mode fiber.
This type of traffic is given a higher priority so that switches can distribute the most up-to-date information across the fabric even under heavy device traffic. When a port is in D_Port mode, the following diagnostic tests can be conducted (refer to the diagram below. An optional Brocade Extended Fabrics license can be used to provide additional buffer credits to long distance E_Ports in order to maintain FC performance across the network. Most equipment vendors can support 32, 64, or more channels over a fiber pair with each running at speeds up to 10 Gbps or more. By converting each input to a different frequency, multiple signals can be carried over the same fiber.
Each wavelength is then placed onto a single fiber through the use of a passive multiplexer. Because TDM sometimes relies on certain FC primitives to maintain synchronization, it may require special configuration on Brocade switches.
In later generations of Brocade switches (4, 8 and 16 Gbps) the loss-of-sync timer has been increased to 100 ms which is longer than the 50 ms optical ring protection switching time to avoid unnecessary fabric reconfiguration. An optical network protection switch can change the link latency making the de-skew values incorrect causing unpredictable behavior of the ISL Trunk. Headquartered in Islandia, Long Island, the company maintains 150 offices in more than 45 countries.
Her goal is to enable employees, through IT and space, to be the most productive, collaborative and innovative they can be. By implementing SmartSpace(TM), CA was able to reduce their footprint from 133,000 to 77,000 sq ft upon lease renewal.
They are able to draw on their industry experience and knowledge of the latest products to offer custom solutions to any design or logistics challenge. Our staff will always maintain a superior service attitude while we listen carefully to every detail, coordinate around your schedule and help plan each project before, during and after. Because it is internet based, customers can even login from their mobile devices for immediate updates.
Installed directly into the wall, our two fully compatible wall garage organizer systems; Grid wall (or Gridwall) and Slat wall (or Slatwall), make it possible to attach hooks and accessories without drilling or tools. For example, if a remote backup occurs every day at midnight and a site failure occurs at 11 pm, changes to data made within the last 23 hours will be lost. Lower priority applications that dona€™t need immediate recovery after a failure can be restored from backup tapes from remote vaults.
For this reason, SAN distance extension over ISLs is a common method of transporting replicated storage data for disaster recovery. The replication traffic flows over the ISL links in Fabric C and D that are attached to the long distance optical network.
For this reason, cost-effective disaster recovery designs leverage Fibre Channel to transport replicated data between arrays in different data centers over distances spanning a few to more than 100 kilometers. It is better at retaining the fidelity of each light pulse over long distances and results in lower attenuation.
The most recent type of single-mode fiber, Non-Zero Dispersion Shifted Fiber (NZ-DSF) addresses the problems associated with the previous types and is the fiber of choice in new deployments. Additionally, multiple IOs are multiplexed over a single ISL by assigning different VCs to different IOs and giving them the same priority (unless QoS is enabled). When an E_Port is allocated more than 255 buffers, the remaining buffers are allocated to the medium priority queue.
With this simple set of guidelines it is easy to estimate the amount of required credits per link to maintain line speed. Where frame-based ISL Trunks cannot be used, DPS is a good alternative for high availability with multiple ISL connections. CWDM generally operates at a lower bit rate than higher-end DWDM systems---typically up to 4 Gbps. FC frames are commonly mapped onto a SONET or SDH payload using an International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standard called Generic Framing Procedure (GFP). Therefore, for most distance extension devices, the ISL remains on-line during an optical ring protection switch. Best practice is to ensure that if optical transport rerouting can occur, all physical links in the ISL trunk should be rerouted, not just a few.
Waldner’s helps assess their needs by conducting a Workplace Survey in conjunction with Steelcase.
We come across all types of used material handling and warehouse equipment with our inventory changing daily. Turn around time was about a week from initial meeting and measurement to delivery and installation.Fabian Kiguelman, Mario Supply Paterson, NJFirst Access came up with an entire layout complete with storage and picking area. When a switch is configured for Access Gateway mode, it does not consume a fabric Domain ID simplifying the fabric design. Should a path in one fabric fail for any reason (HBA, cable, FC switch port, FC switch, array port, configuration error, power outage, etc.), then IO continues on the remaining path.
Therefore, SAN distance extension using Fibre Channel is an important part of a comprehensive, cost-effective and effective disaster recovery design. Single mode fiber is always used for long-distance extension over optical networks and often used even within the data center for FICON installations. Each IO can have a fair share of the bandwidth, so that a large-size IO will not consume the whole bandwidth and starve a small-size IO, thus balancing the performance of different devices communicating across the ISL.
DWDM equipment can be configured to provide a path protection scheme in case of link failure or in ring topologies that also provide protection. Surveys are an excellent way to engage employees in efforts to change the work environment. Years ago, before technology integration into furniture was common, CA was mounting large AV equipment into conference tables. RTO determines the maximum outage that can occur with an acceptable impact to the business.
Similar to ISL Trunks, Access Gateway provides Access Gateway Trunks for excellent link utilization and automatic fail-over should a link in the trunk fail. Specific configuration modes are used on Brocade switches to support the use of Idle as fill words. How many will commute into the office versus the number that will tele-work or share workspace?
Corporate Real Estate uses employee demographics of the workforce and business needs to make decisions on location. After evaluating the survey results they realized that more collaborative space was needed for their workers. With this information the Waldner sales and design team work together to configure the optimal layout for the client.

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