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The coupling adapter hub of an IBM System z® server is a key component for the IBM System z Parallel Sysplex®. The hub is built to exchange messages between systems in a highly efficient manner. This paper describes the latest generation of high-fanout and low-latency coupling adapter cards, the associated firmware, and a new protocol. As in the z10® system, there is a long-range and a short-distance card. The coupling adapter for zEnterprise® 196 (z196) is based on the z10 infrastructure (InfiniBand® link layer), with the internal transport engine for message handling completely redesigned to support the new protocol and improve connectivity, latency, and throughput. In addition to enabling the new adapter's functionality, the Parallel Sysplex support firmware has several significant enhancements in a number of functional areas. Connectivity and utilization are improved through the ability to define more channels and more concurrent connections (message buffer sets) for each channel. Through a combination of hardware and firmware protocols, response time for messages at a short distance is significantly improved. Finally, new methods are presented that support efficient presilicon and postsilicon functional and performance verification.
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