Flipping the Flex System Fibre Channel Switch

Over the past six months, there have been a few major shifts in the storage networking business. First, both industry and internal data have indicated that IT organizations are shifting to Gen 5 16 Gbps Fibre Channel solutions. Why the shift? Customers are looking for the greater throughput many applications are demanding, and the cost of 16Gbps Fibre as prices are coming down. Moving to 16 Gbps Fibre Channel also provides investment protection as customers make new SAN purchases. The other industry change is QLogic’s decision to exit the switch business and focus on more strategic products in their portfolio. 

As a result of these changes, on October 27, we announced a transition in our Flex System Fibre Channel switch portfolio. Effective December 31, 2015, we will no longer sell the 8 Gbps FC3171 switch, and will transition to the 16 Gbps FC5022 switch. The FC5022 provides more value at a very competitive price. Some key examples are listed here:

  • Exceptional performance – with close to 5X better latency and twice the bandwidth per link than the FC3171. The FC5022 improves application performance — even when connected to 8Gbps storage. 
  • Better agility – for pay-as-you-grow scalability. Buy a lower-cost, 12-port model for a partial chassis or a competitively priced, 24-port model for a full chassis. Allocate ports dynamically versus having a fixed number of internal or external ports. Maximize your budget per port and avoid oversubscription in maximizing internal and external port ratios. Get twice the bandwidth per node with support for 4-port adapters.
  • Interoperability – with Brocade fabrics and management, and can also be easily configured in “Access Gateway” (NPIV) mode to connect to other vendors fabrics.
  • Easy deployment and management – with a rich set of scalability and RAS features that can simplify IT administration.
  • Lower cost of ownership – with investment protection and the ability to reduce cabling and upstream network costs.

With Brocade, our FC5022 supplier, we have worked to make the transition easy for our valued Flex System customers. We’ve put together a tips-and-hints guide to help you configure the FC5022 into your existing environment. 

Contact your local Lenovo business partner or sales rep for more information.