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Mainframe Solutions

SNAoIP: An Introduction to Brocade Solutions

by Howard.Johnson on ‎04-05-2010 10:17 AM (1,002 Views)

Following Brocade’s acquisition of Foundry, I put together a position paper addressing our capabilities in the IP and mainframe space. This paper addressed the SNA over IP infrastructures and solutions that are available and Brocade’s product plays into this space. Today’s blog provides a synopsis of the position paper and a little background to peek your interest in the mainframe IP space.


The modernization of corporate network infrastructures has seen a shift in the last decade from SNA networks and applications to TCP/IP and Internet technologies. In many cases, applications have changed and processes have been reengineered to use TCP/IP rather than SNA. In other cases, SNA application traffic has been adapted to run over IP-based networks using technologies such as TN3270, Data Link Switching (DLSw), SNA Switching (SNASw), or Enterprise Extender. Consequently, corporations have seen the traffic that traverses communications controllers such as the IBM 3745/46 decline to the point where such technologies can be eliminated from their networking environments.

SNA over IP Networks

SNA over IP solutions are designed to connect enterprise applications built on top of the SNA architecture over a wide area. The SNA over IP translation points are either supported in the IP router, on servers at end of the IP network, or mixed (i.e. router solution in the branch and server solution in the data center).

The router solution provides flexible options, which allow the IP router to act as a concentrator at the branch (using DLSw) and as an End-Node in the data center. In addition, the IP router can provide Enterprise Extender capabilities allowing the branch router to drive the SNA traffic all the way to the host (i.e. no need for an EN in the data center). However, this solution requires specialized router software (the Cisco SNASw feature) which includes customized extensions to completely support the SNA requirements.

If, however, you want to get the most out of your IP network then Brocade Ethernet Solution products paired with the TN3270 emulation software or the Enterprise Extender software is the most robust, flexible, and cost effective solution for your enterprise. The Enterprise Extender solution is embedded in z/OS for the data center and is available on servers attached to the IP network at the branch. This solution can be as varied as software deployed on a per-terminal basis or concentrated on scalable servers from Windows to pSeries to zSeries Business Continuity (BC) solutions. The range of flexible options associated with Enterprise Extender makes it the natural choice for modernizing your existing SNA network.


Brocade Ethernet Solutions ingrate SNA applications into modern networking infrastructures and provide you with the tools needed to support existing business operations and processes on strategic enterprise networks. Brocade’s best-of-breed solutions help your enterprise or service provider build highly reliable broadband IP infrastructures, laying the foundation for next-generation applications. Brocade solutions build your competitive advantage in business, and ensure a network that scales with your business. These solutions now incorporate SNA over IP to provide you with a highly flexible option for modernizing your SNA networks and applications.

The technologies at the core of Brocade SNA over IP solution are Brocade Ethernet Solution products and IBM’s SNA support technologies (TN3270 and Enterprise Extender). The Brocade Ethernet Solution products enable creation of highly available, scalable and strategic IP infrastructures, which enhance the capabilities of TN3270 and Enterprise Extender to migrate SNA applications into corporate strategic LANs. These tools combine to create the most flexible solution for your SNA applications now and into the future.

The full version of this white paper is titled "Brocade Solutions for Deploying Systems Network Architecture (SNA) in IP-Based Environments" and is available on our web site here.

Happy reading and keep those questions coming.