The IBM XIV Gen3 was announced July 12, 2011 with a planned availability date of September 8, 2011. So far I have written blog articles about the changes to the rack, the layout and the disk drives. So it's now time to head around to the back of the rack!
The first thing I like to point out when showing clients a 2nd Generation XIV is the patch panel. This is a really nice innovation that places all the external connections (Fibre Channel SAN, iSCSI LAN, Management LAN and Remote and Local Support connections) into the one easily accessible place. Users not only like the simplified layout, but also appreciate that they can run cables to the patch panel through the top of the machine or from under the floor.
The big change in the IBM XIV Gen3 is that the developers got very excited about iSCSI connections, provisioning a staggering 22 ports (on a fully provisioned machine). This means the patch panel had to be redesigned to accommodate these extra ports.
In the examples below (taken from the GUI), active ports are coloured white while inactive ports are yellow.
- With the 2nd Generation XIV patch panel, the 24 fibre channel ports are at the top followed by the 6 iSCSI connections, the management ports, remote support ports and local support ports.
- With the IBM XIV Gen3 patch panel, there are two sections. The top section has the 24 fibre channel port (all the ports on the left hand side) while the 22 iSCSI ports are all on the right hand side. Note the bottom two iSCSI ports are grayed out because they are used for internal connections (thus 22 ports, not 24). The lower section of the panel has the management and local and remote support ports .
Here is a picture showing the rear view of the rack with the two section patch panel indicated.
As I have explained in previous posts, you can get Visios of the XIV patch panels and the XIV racks from here. If there is another Visio stencil you would like to see, feel free to leave a comment and I will get busy.