DH8 Port Usage: Sorting Through the Complexity and Flexibility

In the information technology (IT) field, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of acronyms, beginning with, for example, IT. Once you get past the first simple acronyms, you begin encountering acronyms stacked on top of other acronyms, creating an acronym sandwich that tastes like industry jargon, mixed with numbers, followed by an aftertaste of “what the heck did I just read?”

Consider IBM’s 2014 release of SVC DH8. To most people, that’s a license plate number. To IT administrators, however, SVC means SAN Volume Controller—with SAN being an acronym for Storage Area Network—and DH8 being a designation for part of the longer model number 2145-DH8.

So, what is SVC DH8? Well, it’s an upgrade from previous SVC node hardware offerings, because technology is constantly evolving and improving, so more complex acronyms and numerical designations are required.

Essentially, SVC is an IBM hardware device that acts as a sort of traffic cop between various data storage networks and the servers providing and accessing that data. An SVC filters IT data to and from a multitude of storage hardware devices—disk, flash, etc.—and performs as a virtual layer that can process and present that data to an administrator in a coherent and easily understood graphical user interface (GUI).

Which brings us to the latest SVC iteration—2145 DH8. It offers more central processing unit (CPU) compute capacity over its SVC CG8 predecessor—and that’s obviously a good thing. Additionally, there are all sorts of increased goodies, including two times more input/output (I/O) slots, more memory capacity, and more acronym upgrades than you could mentally digest in a month.

2145-DH8 allows for greater fiber channel (FC) connectivity than previous models. With options for four, eight, or twelve 8 Gbit/s ports, the DH8 can introduce complexity as well as flexibility. In a recent whitepaper, I discuss IBM’s recommendation on port usage, along with Galileo’s recommendation, which does vary from IBM’s in some cases. Please note that, while the DH8 supports 16 Gbit/s FC ports, we will focus on 8 Gbit/s ports, which are much more common in the field.

To download a free copy of the whitepaper that provides specific recommendations on SVC DH8 port usage, click here.

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