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The performance, reliability, and functionality of a large server are greatly influenced by the design characteristics of its I/O subsystem. The critical components of the IBM System z10™ I/O subsystem have, therefore, been significantly improved in terms of performance, capability, and cost. The first-order network has been redesigned from the long-evolved enhanced self-timed interface (eSTI) links to utilize InfiniBand™ links. A redesign of the host logic of I/O chips and the fiberoptic interfaces within the links made it possible to introduce InfiniBand-based IBM Parallel Sysplex® links. A broad range of legacy I/O channels have been carried forward to connect through InfiniBand, and a foundation has been laid for new channel types of improved functionality and performance. The first such hardware channel to be introduced is the next generation of Ethernet-virtualization data routers. A new and methodical recovery structure has been designed to ensure consistent, extensive support of reliability, availability, and serviceability. A building-block-oriented design process has been developed to enable the innovations that made these advances possible. Finally, a new performance verification methodology has been introduced to ensure that the system and subsystem designs are balanced to make effective use of the increased capacity.
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Date of Publication: Jan. 2009