Designed for increased performance: FICON Express8S contains a new IBM ASIC which is designed to support the 8 GBps PCIe interface to the PCIe I/O drawer and increased start I/Os. In addition, a hardware data router has been added in support of the zHPF and FCP protocols for path length reduction and increased throughput. FICON Express8S supports a link data rate of 2, 4, or 8 Gbps autonegotiated.
The High Performance FICON for System z journey:
In laboratory measurements, using FICON Express8S in a z196 with the zHPF protocol and small data transfer I/O operations, FICON Express8S operating at 8 Gbps achieved a maximum of 92,000 IOs/sec, compared to the maximum of 52,000 IOs/sec achieved with FICON Express8 operating at 8 Gbps. This represents approximately a 77% increase and applies to reads, writes, and a read/write mix. Results on zEC12 and zBC12 are comparable.
In laboratory measurements, using FICON Express8S in a z196 with the zHPF protocol and a mix of large sequential read and write data transfer I/O operations, FICON Express8S operating at 8 Gbps achieved a maximum throughput of 1600 MB/sec (reads + writes) compared to a maximum of 770 MB/sec (reads + writes) achieved with FICON Express8 operating at 8 Gbps. This represents approximately a 108% increase. Results on zEC12 and zBC12 are comparable.
This performance data was measured in a controlled environment running an I/O driver program under z/OS. The actual throughput or performance that any user will experience will vary depending upon considerations such as the amount of multiprogramming in the user's job stream, the I/O configuration, the storage configuration, and the workload processed.
For information about the Channel subsystem enhancement for I/O resilience, SAP capacity performance improvements, and performance characteristics of the FICON Express8S channels on the zEnterprise EC12 refer to: IBM zEC12 IO performance technical paper (PDF, 235KB).
I/O priority manager is a function which can help enable greater cache efficiency and improve performance for higher priority workloads residing on IBM System Storage DS8000. To understand more, refer to this paper: IBM System z DS8000 I/O Priority Manager (PDF, 908KB).
To understand the I/O performance characteristics of the FICON Express8S channels, refer to Version 2 of the "IBM zEnterprise 196 and IBM zEnterprise 114 I/O and FICON Express8S Channel Performance paper" (PDF, 523KB). This update (Version 2) includes information on High Performance FICON for System z (zHPF) enhancements for QSAM, BPAM, and BSAM access methods, for format writes, and for improvements in DB2 list prefetch for certain DB2 queries and some DB2 utility operations.
To understand the I/O performance characteristics of the IBM zEnterprise™ 196 as well as the extensions to High Performance FICON for IBM System z® (zHPF) architecture available on FICON® Express8 and FICON Express4 channels refer to IBM zEnterprise 196 I/O Performance Version 1 (PDF, 280KB) technical paper.
For detailed performance information on FICON Express8 on System z10, refer to IBM System z10 FICON Express8 Channel Performance Version 1 (PDF, 192KB) technical paper.
For detailed information on High Performance FICON on System z (zHPF) using FICON Express4 and FICON Express2 on System z10 to provide optimization for OLTP workloads, refer to IBM System z10 I/O and High Performance FICON for System z Channel Performance (PDF, 248KB) technical paper.
For detailed performance information on FICON Express4 utilizing FICON, refer to the IBM System z9 I/O and FICON Express4 Channel Performance (PDF, 200KB) technical paper.
For detailed performance information on FICON Express2, consult the FICON Express2 Channel Performance (PDF, 631KB) technical paper.
Browse z Systems
Do you have questions about the new I/O functionalities?
Do you have the appropriate FICON jumpers, patch cables, and conversion kits for your server? For all your cabling needs see the System z Fiber Cabling Services in the IBM Resource Link Services section (registration required)
Are you ready for FICON? Learn about FICON Planning, Operation, Implementation, and Problem Determination, Course #ES326