Allen_Ward
4 Ruthenium

Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities

Amen to THAT Mike! I'm not going to name names, but on one data center build I was involved in in the recent past the vendor contracted to do the cable runs and patch panels turned over a testing reoprt showing that everything was verified and tested to spec and we found NUMEROUS (yes, lower case doesn't quite capture the feeling intended there) problems with cables and connections that weren't even functional... let alone to spec. We ended up having to test every run in the new DC before we could start deploying anything in it.

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MikeN2
1 Nickel

Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities

While I am proud that Brocade was first to introduce this but we have to ask ourselves why this took so long and how do we get the rest of the industry to adopt this concept.

I believe it is a problem with inertia.  We never had diagnostics (at least not with optical networking or any networking that I am aware of) so status quo is to continue has we have forever. 

If you took your car to the shop for a problem with the car starting and they told to swap the cable and monitor to see if the problem was fixed you find a new mechanic.

it is great to see EMC Customer Support embrace the new way . Finally we can move from empirical (trial and error) to Proven (tested and verified).  No more swap the SFP, clear the statistics, and check back tomorrow.

It is also worth mentioning that both Emulex and Qlogic are implementing the D_Port on the new 16Gb FC adapters so in time the entire FC ecosystem will have diagnostics for the cable infrastructure ... some day the Ethernet guys will wake up and do the right thing too!

MikeN2
1 Nickel

Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities

CMCNE / BNA 12.3  *NEW* Dashboard Playback Feature introduced in 12.3

Not directly part of Fabric Vision but definitely related and worth highlighting for everyone is the new Dashboard Play Back feature in CMCNE 12.3.

You can use the new "Dashboard Play Back" feature to play, pause, and rewind as your dashboard reflects a point in time.  Perfect tool for using the equivalent of a  "Peabody's Wayback Machine" for your Storage Network to see when a particular dashboard aberration may have shown up earlier in the day or even weeks earlier.

So with Fabric Vision and CMCNE all the great widgets con be viewed in time lapse ... makes all the new widgets that much more awesome.

nandas
4 Germanium

Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities

Greetings everyone. We are only in first two days of this "Ask the Expert" session and already there are quite a good amount of technical discussion worth reading. I am sure there will be many more in coming days.

I am trying to get another perspective, if possible request to share some advantages or comparison with similar competitive tools (Cisco etc.).

Thanks,
Sandip

Dali1
1 Nickel

Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities

Thanks for the video in provides us with a view of the direction that Brocade is taking which is beyond normal SAN zoning. I can see how having all these tools is capable of reducing turnover time when having new HW implementations.

Questions:

1) There is an increasing number of requests pertaining to SAN security beyond that of normal zoning and masking. What new features regarding SAN security are in existance today at FOSv7.0 as well as Connectrix?

2) I have implemented LDAP @ v7.2.1 and it appears to be inconsistent at times just not allowing the user. I have toyed with secure LDAP; however, the documentation to support it and the ease of implementation appears to be challenging.This makes it near impossible to implement. Also the threat of a FOS upgrade breaking it can limit our need at times. Is this changing in the near future with v7.3? or the new Connectrix?

Thanks,

Dali

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jeff_browning
3 Silver

Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities

Great stuff.

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MikeN2
1 Nickel

Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities

Hi Sandip,

As a Brocade employee it would be a lot of fun to get into a Brocade vs. competitors  debate, but this is an EMC forum and since EMC has partnerships with said competitors we will respect our EMC partnership and *NOT* get into any direct comparisons. 

Alternatively it may be worth comparing the before and after Fabric Vision versions from Brocade.

I will start by saying we felt our pre fabric Vision solution was very competitive and our dominant market share would lend some credibility to that statement.  So this is not meant to be a knock against older version of FOS ... it has served many very well for a long time!

For this post lets compare  MAPS  to Fabric Watch and Advanced Performance Monitoring.

Brocade Fabric Watch and Advanced Performance monitoring pre-dated the MAPS feature and Fabric Vision.  They were powerful tools but they were rarely used because they required you to invest a lot of time to understand, implement, and interpret the results ... and as your SAN grew over time ongoing maintenance was required. 

With MAPS it is so much easier.  The MAPS architecture of having a few categories of port (and other)  types and a few policies to apply enables you to simply choose from column A (categories) and choose from column B (policy) and that easily your implementation is underway.  New ports in the same category are automatically added.  If you want to customize you can tweak until the cows come home, but your changes are now embedded in this new category/policy architecture,  so even customization is easy to implement and manage going forward.

Understanding the MAPS results is improved compared to FW and APN, in particular when MAPS is combined with the new BNA/CMCNE versions with enhanced dashboard capability... the results are not only shown as widgets on the dashboard, but you also have the ability to "DVR" back in time now which I think is one of the most important new features.

I should also point out that when comparing the new MAPS to the older FW and APN, it is not just ease of use that is improved, MAPS is also a lot more powerful too.  For example MAPS policies can be compound versus FW policies which were binary.  You can look for C3 discards for both long and short intervals is a basic example. 

I know that Brocade had our best product managers and engineers working on this for 2+ years so we had high expectations.  Honestly I think the results of the efforts show and I think that Fabric Vision MAPS is is easily an order of magnitude more powerful than the old Brocade FW and APN and also compared to the old industry status quo.

We'll write about Flow Vision (which has no comparison from the past) in a separate post.

lakaspalay
1 Nickel

Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities

Is there any ATE thread for the CMCNE? Hoping they will have a roadmap for linux version like the BNA.

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hughesm1
1 Copper

Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities

Hi Dali,

This ‘Ask the Expert’ session is focused on “Fabric Vision” so we don’t want to get too much off topic. I would be more than happy to take this offline with you and get you the information that you need.

Please note that all security enhancements along with other new capabilities are noted in the 7.3 release notes which can be downloaded from Powerlink.

Thanks,

Michelle

hughesm1
1 Copper

Re: Ask The Expert: Connectrix FOS 7.3 – Fabric Vision Proactive Capabilities

Hi,

Currently there is no ATE thread on CMCNE, but great suggestion!. EMC are best to answer the question with respect to the support of CMCNE on a Linux platform, today this is not supported.

Thanks,

Michelle

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