The Era Ends for IBM Gen 5 SAN


2 min read

Brocade Support Link (BSL) is now available to Brocade Support Customers

What is Brocade Support Link (BSL)?

Brocade Support Link enables customers to securely and automatically transmit configuration and performance information from their SAN environment to Brocade for performance analysis and configuration validation. This data is transformed from configuration, performance and health metrics across all Brocade devices into detailed summary reports, consistency checks and recommendations based on 25 plus years of Brocade best practices.

What are the BSL features?

Best Practice Assessment (BPA) Reports: Provides validation of SAN design and configuration, health monitoring, firmware levels, device compatibility and identification of known issues.

Switch/Fabric Data, Inventory and Performance Reports: High level summary reports and the underlying data from the fabric that is used to generate the BPA reports. Enables customers to sort data and create custom reports.

Automated Case Creation: Automatically create a support case in Brocade’s case management tool and notify the Brocade support engineers of critical events immediately. (Premier customers only)

What are the requirements?

· Must have an active BDS or BSS support contract

· Supports Gen5/Gen6/Gen7 platforms

· Minimum FOS requirement is v8.2.1c

Where do customers go to access BSL? Customers with approved CSP accounts can go to the main BSL page at: 

Where do customers go to access BSL? 

Where can I find the latest content? All Global Support content is in the process of getting updated to include BSL. The content can be found on FlightDeck on Box:

Where can I find the latest content? 

Brocade EOA Notifications for FOS and SANnav Releases

Below are links to the recent updates to End-of-Availability (EOA) notifications for FOS and SANnav releases, and the availability of the updated Software Support and Posting Matrices document. It is important to note the upcoming EOA of the FOS v8.0.x and SANnav 1.1.x release levels effective July 2020.

Call to action:

* View the SW Release Support and Posting Matrices v1.1 

and Brocade Software EOA Notice and ensure that customers know about the upcoming EOA of the FOS v8.0.x and SANnav 1.1.x release levels in July 2020

* Note that the FOS EOA Notice and Fact Sheet is now called the Brocade Software EOA Notice. This document now covers all software product release EOA notices for FOS and SANnav and it will include all future software products. Please review this notice to see the upcoming July 31, 2020 EOA for the FOS v8.0.x and SANnav 1.1.x release levels

A Simple SAN Message, “The new IBM 32 Gb/s FlashSystem Requires a SAN Discussion”

On Feb 11th, 2020, IBM announced faster, denser FlashSystem arrays while also withdrawing other array brands from market.

IBM will now have only one storage product family to cover entry, mid-range and high-end requirements for open systems.

Where does SAN fit in this equation? Simple – 32 Gb/s, NVMe capable storage requires an intelligent 32 Gb/s, NVMe capable storage network.

The IBM Storage consolidation does three simple but critical things to understand:

1) Simpler Storage Portfolio for IBM to Sell: IBM has simplified its block access storage array portfolio to FlashSystem for open system solutions and DS8900F for enterprise/mainframe solutions. StorWize and Accelerate/XIV storage products are being withdrawn from the market. IBM will focus on refreshing these decommissioned products. These are opportunities to refresh to Gen 6 SAN.

2) Simpler FC capabilities for IBM to understand: The IBM FlashSystem products support 32 Gb/s and NVMe over Fibre Channel. The DS8900F supports 32 Gb/s and offers an IBM mainframe feature called 32G Fibre Channel Endpoint Security that enables server to storage encryption. 32 Gb/s is essentially a standard offering on these products. These are opportunities to sell new Gen 6 SAN.

3) Simpler SAN message for IBM to pitch: Remind your IBM contacts that every 2020 storage opportunity, whether greenfield or refresh, requires a storage network discussion with the customer to ensure that the storage is connected to 32 Gb/s, NVMe-ready b-type SAN. Simple positioning for Gen 6 SAN.