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IBM Journal of Research and Development

IBM z10 System   Abstract

IBM System z10 I/O subsystem

by E. W. Chencinski
M. A. Check
C. DeCusatis
H. Deng
M. Grassi
T. A. Gregg
M. M. Helms
A. D. Koenig
L. Mohr
K. Pandey
T. Schlipf
T. Schober
H. Ulrich
and C. R. Walters
The performance, reliability, and functionality of a large server are greatly influenced by the design characteristics of its I/O subsystem. The critical components of the IBM System z10™ I/O subsystem have, therefore, been significantly improved in terms of performance, capability, and cost. The first-order network has been redesigned from the long-evolved enhanced self-timed interface (eSTI) links to utilize InfiniBand™ links. A redesign of the host logic of I/O chips and the fiberoptic interfaces within the links made it possible to introduce InfiniBand-based IBM Parallel Sysplex® links. A broad range of legacy I/O channels have been carried forward to connect through InfiniBand, and a foundation has been laid for new channel types of improved functionality and performance. The first such hardware channel to be introduced is the next generation of Ethernet-virtualization data routers. A new and methodical recovery structure has been designed to ensure consistent, extensive support of reliability, availability, and serviceability. A building-block-oriented design process has been developed to enable the innovations that made these advances possible. Finally, a new performance verification methodology has been introduced to ensure that the system and subsystem designs are balanced to make effective use of the increased capacity.

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