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This paper describes the move to 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel, the benefits and the major applications that will benefit from this newest interconnect technology.

Introduction Since the 2001 introduction of 2 Gigabit per second (Gb/s) Fibre Channel
4 Gb/s Fibre Channel Storage System The IBM® TotalStorage® DS4800 controller, features sixth generation system technology and offers the same extensivecapabilities and functionality as other IBM DS4000 series Fibre Channel systems. These capabilities include broad support for operating systems and host types; advanced replication services such as Snapshot, remote volume mirroring and volume copying.

(FC) technology, engineers have been working on the next generation of Fibre Channel interconnection – 4 Gb/s. The new technology is now available,thoroughly tested and offered to enterprise customers.

4 Gb/s Fibre Channel systems are ideally suited for applications that need to quickly transfer large amounts of data – such as remote replication across a SAN, database in memory; streaming video on demand; medical imaging; data mining and data warehousing; and large databases supporting online transaction processing (OLTP). Additionally,large increases in online data, such as driven by radio frequency identification (RFID) applications, will leverage the benefits of 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel technology.

Why buy 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel technology?

The potential benefits of 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel technology include faster communication between servers and storage devices, the ability to more rapidly transfer data from storage toserver or restore data from online backup media; high reliability due to the number of connections; and investment protection due to backward compatibility with 1 Gb/s and 2 Gb/s components – providing customers with state-of-the-art interconnection technology at about the same price and cost of ownership as current 2 Gb/s systems.

Some of the Killer Apps for 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel The informationexplosion continues to drive the need for higher-performance communication. Performance improvements in processors, workstations and storage devices, along with the exponential growth in the amount of data being gathered and created, have spawned increasingly data-intensive and high-speed networking applications. 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel enables faster communication between servers and storage devices atabout the same prices as today’s 2 Gb/s Fibre Channel, helping IT administrators to effectively address the relentless needs of applications and end users.

Tiered Storage As the concept of storage tiers becomes more prevalent and implementations become more common, data will need to be routinely migrated from primary storage to secondary storage across the storage network. Depending on theamount of data being relocated, this can be a time-consuming and costly process that can put a tremendous strain on the storage network and potentially disrupt access to the data during the migration. 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel provides a massive pipe through the SAN that allows data to be quickly moved from one storage system to another - enabling this bandwidth-intensive transfer to happen at up to twicethe speed of 2 Gb/s Fibre Channel.

Campus area replication While wide area network (WAN) replication can help provide outstanding protection against regional disasters, campus area replication can be just as beneficial. When replicating across the high-speed SAN, data can be mirrored synchronously, so the remote site has the same data as the local site at all times. The data at the remotesite can then be used for a variety of purposes, such as data restoration, mining, analysis, testing and backup. Synchronizing and re-synchronizing the local and remote sites can be a lengthy process that monopolizes a large portion of the SAN's bandwidth. 4 Gb/s Fibre Channel provides these environments with a high-bandwidth infrastructure well suited for campus area replication. 4 Gb/s Fibre...
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