This is a sample version of a complete feature/function matrix to help you quickly sort out various storage hardware and software capabilities. Please note that some areas of this sample report are intentionally left blank.
You can purchase these feature/function matrices separately from the Evaluator Group
Products in this matrix:
- Brocade Silkworm 3200 and 3800
- Gadzoox Slingshot 4210 and 4218
- McDATA Sphereon 3216 and 3232
- Qlogic SANbox 8-port and 16-port
- Vixel 9100, 9200 and 9300-HA
Items included in the full comparison matrix are:
- Port Type*
- Protocol standards
- Fabric services
- Management tools and protocol
- Management functionality
- Security features
(* Items displayed with an asterisk are included in the following, partial matrix.)
Vendor-independent education - Data from the complete matrix chart is included in the content of some Evaluator Group seminars. These seminars are held publicly and can be tailored for and presented to private audiences. Check out the current seminar schedule.
You can find these sample matrix charts here.
|Product||SilkWorm 3200||SilkWorm 3800||Slingshot 4210||Slingshot 4218||Sphereon 3216||Sphereon 3232|
|#ports||8||16||10||18||8-16, Flexport Technology(1)||16-32, Flexport Technology|
|Scalability (2)||239, 7 hops 32 certified||239, 7 hops 32 certified||239, 7 hops||239, 7 hops||-||-|
|F_Port||Yes||Yes, U_Port||Yes||Yes||Yes, G_Port (3)||Yes, G_Port|
|FL_Port||Yes||Yes, U_Port||Yes||Yes||No (4)||No|
|E_Port||1-8 ports (5), Backwards interoperability for E_port connection to earlier Silkworm (i.e., 1G bit) switches||Yes, up to 16, Backwards interoperability for E_port connection to earlier Silkworm (i.e., 1G bit) switches||Yes||Yes||Yes, G_Port (3)||Yes, G_Port|
|Mix and match ports (6)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|Copper(m)||No||No||HSSDC-2 when GBICs available||HSSDC-2 when GBICs available||No||No|
|Short wave optical(m)||Yes(500m)||Yes(500m)||Yes(500m)||Yes(500m)||Yes(500m)||Yes(500m)|
|Long wave optical(km)||Yes(10km)||Yes(10km)||Yes(13km) when GBICs are available||Yes(13km) when GBICs are available||Yes(10km), 100 km with repeaters||Yes(10km), 100 km with repeaters|
|Mixed media (copper+optical)||No||No||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|ISL trunking||Yes, up to 4 lines/ISL trunk achieving 8G bit/sec. per ISL trunk. In-order frame delivery between switches. Frame striping across sequence (7)||Yes, up to 4 lines/ISL trunk achieving 8G bit/sec. per ISL trunk. In-order frame delivery between switches. Frame striping across sequence||Yes. Any port can be part of the trunk group. No limit on number of trunks or lines per trunk (8)||Yes. Any port can be part of the trunk group. No limit on number of trunks or lines per trunk||Open trunking (H202). Unlimited number of lines per trunk. Heterogeneous support. Backward compatible with 1G bit products (9)||Open trunking (H202). Unlimited number of lines per trunk. Heterogeneous support. Backward compatible with 1G bit products|
|MAN capability (maximum distance at full bandwidth)||Optional. Extended fabrics (10), 60km (2G bit), 120 km (1G bit)||Optional. Extended fabrics, 60km (2G bit), 120 km (1G bit)||Interoperable with SANValley, SANcastle, CNT and Cisco||Interoperable with SANValley, SANcastle, CNT and Cisco||120km (1G bit). 60km (2G bit). 60 buffer credits per port on all ports for full bandwidth across the specified distance.||120km (1G bit). 60km (2G bit). 60 buffer credits per port on all ports for full bandwidth across the specified distance.|
The above table is continued below.
|Product||SANbox 8-port||SANbox 16-port||9100||9200/9300-HA|
|Scalability (2)||239 Domains tested: 8 switches, 8 hop fabrics||239 Domains tested: 8 switches, 8 hop fabrics||7 hops(linear)||15 hops(linear); 32 switches & 7 hops(mesh)|
|F_Port||Yes (GL_Port)||Yes (GL_Port)||Autoconfiguring G_Port||Autoconfiguring G_Port|
|FL_Port||Yes (public or private) (GL_Port) (12)||Yes (public or private) (GL_Port)||Autoconfiguring G_Port||Autoconfiguring G_Port|
|E_Port||Yes(GL_Port) SANmark qualified. Backward interoperability with 1G bit switches||Yes(GL_Port) SANmark qualified. Backward interoperability with 1G bit switches||Yes||Yes|
|Mix and match ports||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Copper(m)||No||No||HSSDC-2 active copper (13)||HSSDC-2 active copper|
|Short wave optical(m)||Yes(500m)||Yes(500m)||Yes||Yes|
|Long wave optical(km)||Yes(10km, 20-30km with repeaters)||Yes(10km, 20-30km with repeaters)||Yes||Yes|
|Mixed media (copper+optical)||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|ISL trunking||No||No||Yes, Q3 02||Yes, Q3 02|
|MAN capability (maximum distance at full bandwidth)||120km (2G bit) using buffer credits at no extra charge||120km (2G bit) using buffer credits at no extra charge||~50km||~50km|
1. Flexport Technology refers to the ability to incrementally populate the McDATA Sphereon
switches. The Sphereon 3216 switch can initially be populated with 8 ports and upgraded to 16
ports. Similarly, the Sphereon 3232 can start at 16 ports and be upgraded to 32 ports in 8-port
2. Scalability refers to the number of switches that can be linked together.
3. A G_Port is a port on a Fibre Channel switch that can function either as an F_Port or as an E_Port.
4. McDATA provides access to FC_AL devices through its 8-port loop switch, the ES-1000.
5. Entry-Fabric option has one E_port (one universal port). Full-Fabric option has eight E_ports (eight universal ports). Upgrade to the Full-Fabric option is via a non-disruptive software license key. Entry-Fabric option can be upgraded to Full-Fabric with a software license key.
6. Mix and match ports refers to the ability for any port to be used as an F_Port, FL_Port, or E_Port without limitations on the number of any type of port.
7. Brocade’ ISL trunking is implemented in the ASIC chip to ensure in-order frame delivery between switches. Frames from a single sequence (a sequence is a set of Fibre Channel data frames with a common Sequence_ID (SEQ_ID), corresponding to one message element, block, or Information Unit. Sequences are transmitted from initiator to recipient, with an acknowledgment, if applicable, transmitted from recipient to initiator) are striped across the individual links that comprise the trunk to improve the granularity of bandwidth utilization, and as a result, improve overall trunking performance.
8. Other than total number of ports per switch. Mix or match Slingshot 4210 or 4218 switches.
9. McDATA’ Open Trunking, an optional firmware upgrade due to be released in H2 2002, is a software-based ISL trunking solution. It supports an unlimited number of ISLs per trunk, and supports mixed (i.e., 1 and 2G bit products) heterogeneous (i.e., multi-vendor) topologies. Any port can be part of any trunk group, and trunking can span multiple port cards (i.e., trunked ports do not have to be contiguous). Performance is optimized through load-balancing. Open Trunking is backward compatible with the installed base of McDATA products. At its release, McDATA will make Open Trunking available for distribution to the installed base so that older McDATA products can configured for ISL trunking.
10. Extended Fabrics is optional software that extends full fabric SAN-to-SAN connectivity from 10 kilometers to 120 kilometers through the use of different buffering allocation and credit handling, extended distance GBICs, and Fibre Channel repeaters over Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM) or dark fiber Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs). The switch ISLs (E_ports) are configured with up to 60 buffer credits to ensure near-full bandwidth performance. The maximum distance allowed for 1G bit products is 120 kilometers. For 2G bit products the maximum distance is 60 kilometers. Each device attached appears as a local device to simplify management.
11. SANbox 16-port switch can be populated in 1-port increments.
12. All ports can assume any of the following: F_port, FL_port, E_port, TL_port (Translative Mode = allows public-to-private and private-to-public bridging).
13. Vixel offers HSSDC2 active copper capability but at present, no HBA vendor offers copper because of issues with passing EMI tests.
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This was first published in June 2002