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Mainframe Solutions

Happy 50th Anniversary IBM System Z!

by Dr.Steve.Guendert ‎04-05-2014 07:49 PM - edited ‎04-07-2014 08:38 AM (10,270 Views)

April 7 is a momentous occasion in the history of computing.  It marks the 50th anniversary of IBM's announcement of the System/360 and with it, 50 years of IBM mainframe computing.   A 50th anniversary is a very important event for anything-for example, how many of you have been married for fifty years, or know someone who has been?  It is a relatively rare occasion, but in the world of information technology, for a computing product to be going strong after 50 years, it is truly remarkable. The IBM Mainframe has had its demise predicted too many times to count over these five decades, and each time the person making the faulty prediction did so trying to make a name for themselves in the industry, but all they did was prove to be a false prophet. 




This week will feature many IBM events commemorating the 50th anniversary, including this live webcast from New York.  IBM will be discussing where the Mainframe has been, and where it's going.  I am not going to rehash those things here.  What I would like to do is briefly recap Brocade's 25+ years of partnership with IBM and the IBM Mainframe, and talk about where we have been together and where we are going.  Yours truly is at the IBM Systems Technical University in Istanbul this week.  I'm giving a presentation on our latest innovation for SAN Management: Brocade Fabric Vision.  


The attached graphic shows a timeline of Brocade's IBM Mainframe storage network connectivity products.  From ESCON directors, to 9 generations of FICON directors, from 1 Gbps to 16 Gbps FICON/Fibre Channel, and from parallel channel extension to modern FCIP extension of FICON channels, Brocade has led the storage networking industry for the benefit of IBM and our mutual customers.


During this time period, Brocade has 9 patents and/or co-patents with IBM that are mainframe storage networking related, including the FICON Bridge Card, CUP related patents, Link Incident servicing, and port decommissioning with many more on the way.  By the way, our competition has no such patents or co-patents.


Brocade worked with IBM to develop the first and only FICON architect certification program in the industry.  Since the program's inception in 2008, over 700 people have taken the Brocade FICON certification course, and over 200 people have taken the BCAF examination and earned the BCAF certification.


Finally, Brocade is publishing a new Brocade Bookshelf ebook this week:  Brocade Mainframe Connectivity Solutions.  Watch for it to be posted on the Brocade bookshelf site.


It is innovation and expertise such as this that are the reasons why all 31 of the largest 31 global banks rely on Brocade FICON SAN for their IBM System z environment to run their business.  


I'll wrap up this blog post with a quote from Brocade CEO Lloyd Carney from his interview with Enterprise Executive magazine.  


“All 50 of the world’s top global banks depend on the IBM System z to run the most sophisticated, I/O intensive transactions on the planet. Brocade is proud that our FICON directors account for more than 80 percent of the installed SAN infrastructure in these global enterprises.  They’re our most important and valued customers and it’s an honor that we’re trusted for their mission-critical infrastructure.  Brocade will continue to invest in the mainframe market for as long as there are mainframes, which likely means for a long time to come.


Happy 50th Birthday IBM System z!  Here's to 50 more!



Dr. Steve