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This paper compares the Enterprise Systems Connection Architecture™ (ESCON™), with its use of fiber optic cables, to the parallel channel architecture introduced with System/360™. It also describes many of the reasons for the introduction of ESCON. The ESCON implementation for the IBM 3990 Storage Control is described in some detail, including a description of nonsynchronous operation. The paper concludes with a discussion of some of the benefits of ESCON for 3990 installation, performance considerations, and migration considerations.
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