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» Key Features
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» High-Availability FDDI LAN Connections
» FDDI Application Areas
» Internet and Intranet
» UNIX®-NT® Integration
» Manufacturing and Financial Services
» Application and Database Server Connections
» Features
» Full HP Product Support
» High Availability
» Connectivity
» Software Support
» Single and Dual Stations
» Overview of FDDI
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Diagram displaying the FDDI Ring configuration
Figure 1. Example applications for the various FDDI LAN products.

The powerful HP 9000 Enterprise Servers are versatile and can be used for many applications, such as HP Domain Enterprise Internet servers, application servers, and database servers.

FDDI provides a powerful 100-Mb/s LAN link to all these HP 9000 servers that can be used to link servers to servers, as in SAP R/3 configurations, servers to workstations, or servers to a backbone network. These FDDI links not only operate at 100 Mb/s, but they also cover long fiber-optic distances and provide high availability via the FDDI dual-ring capability.

HP offers a family of 100-Mb/s FDDI LAN adapters that provide FDDI capability on a wide variety of servers supporting the various server buses. The family consists of the following products:

  • FDDI adapters for the HP-PB bus that supports the E-, G-, H-, I-, K-, and T-Class servers (J2157A)
  • FDDI adapters for the D-Class servers (two separate products)
    • EISA bus FDDI (A3659A)
    • D-Class HSC bus FDDI (A3723A)
  • FDDI adapters for the HSC bus for the K-Class (A3722A)
  • FDDI adapters for the new, extremely powerful, high-end V-Class server (A3739A)

All of these FDDI LAN adapters are HP products with HP support--for one-stop vendor sales and support.

The HP-PB FDDI LAN adapter is the mainstay FDDI product from HP. It is extremely successful and very versatile, as it supports a wide variety of servers--specifically, the E-, G-, H-, I-, K-, and T-Class servers. As customers move applications between servers, this FDDI adapter can also be moved to different server types. It can initially be used in a G-Class server and then be plugged into a K-Class server. This high degree of versatility helps protect customers' investments.

For the D-Class server, there are two FDDI adapter choices. The EISA bus product uses one D-Class EISA bus slot and the D-Class HSC product uses one HSC bus slot. The choice of which product to use depends on the overall bus and slot allocation plan on the D-Class servers and on performance. The D-Class HSC FDDI product performs at a higher level than the EISA product due to the faster HSC bus. The main message for the D-Class user is that independent of the EISA bus or the HSC bus, HP has an FDDI.

The HSC bus FDDI product (3" x 5") for the K-Class server provides higher performance based on use of the HSC bus, as well as both single and dual capability using only a single card slot.

HP also has an FDDI product that supports the "powerhouse" top of the line V-Class server. It offers both single and dual attachment, so the V-Class server can be attached to either a single or dual FDDI loop.

These FDDI LAN adapters can, for example, provide high-speed access to HP Domain Enterprise servers for accelerated performance in Internet and intranet applications. In summary, the HP FDDI LAN adapters provide a 100-Mb/s "fat-pipe" link that can rapidly deliver data to end users to accel-erate business-critical solutions.

Diagram displaying power of the FDDI Network
Figure 2. MC/ServiceGuard support for FDDI LAN adapters.

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Key features

  • High-speed, 100-Mb/s LAN capability using the proven FDDI standard
  • Full HP product support
  • Long-distance capability up to 100 km
  • Powerful set of high-availability functions:
    • MC/ServiceGuard support for switchover from a failing path to an alternate path
    • Both single- and dual-attachment options for high-availability, alternate paths
    • Support for an optical bypass switch to keep the FDDI loop operating even if a station fails
  • Fiber-optic links for long distances and data security
  • Popular FDDI 62.5-micron fiber, which is already installed in many buildings
  • Easy installation, configuration, and management

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Key benefits

  • Speeds up LANs from a typical 10-Mb/s Ethernet to 100-Mb/s, thus providing faster access to important Internet and intranet Web applications.
  • Increases end-user productivity by providing faster access to intranet data (helps provide "screaming Web page access")
  • Eliminates network bottlenecks caused by lower-bandwidth LAN links.
  • Reduces downtime caused by link outages.
  • Allows geographic distribution of servers and workstations in different buildings by capitalizing on the long-distance capability. Saves money by eliminating the necessity for moving equipment to a single location.
  • Provides high utilization on the FDDI LAN, thus lowering the cost of transporting data.
  • Offers high reliability-- FDDI is a known, proven, and robust technology that is solid and well understood.
  • Supports ease of management via HP's numerous administrative software aids such as SAM, the software administrative manager. This translates into higher availability and lower support costs.

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High-availability FDDI LAN connections

The diagram on the preceding page (Figure 2) shows how HP 9000 servers back each other up. For example, if server A fails, server B will take over the application. The FDDI LAN adapters together with MC/ServiceGuard contribute to this high-availability computing facility by providing a fast switchover in case of an FDDI path failure. If FDDI path 1 fails, then FDDI path 2 takes over. This LAN failover capability is so powerful it will even fail over between servers and will also "migrate" the same IP address to the recovering LAN adapters regardless of whether they are on the original server or the backup server. The net result is high availability at 100 Mb/s.

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FDDI application areas

Internet and intranet

Internet and intranet customers need high-speed 100-Mb/s, highly available access to Web server pages to ensure users don't experience frustrating delays or outages when accessing Web data and new Internet-enabled Web applications such as HP OpenMail, workgroup collaboration, and mission-critical transaction processing. With the increased amount of data on Web servers and the growing dependence on this data, high speed and high availability of a LAN link are essen- tial. The HP FDDI LAN adapters together with MC/ServiceGuard provide this combination of high speed and high availability. HP Domain Enterprise servers and these 100-Mb/s FDDI products are a natural combination.

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UNIX®-NT® integration

In today's open systems world, UNIX and Windows NT servers frequently coexist. Customers often have requirements for both UNIX and NT. HP's UNIX-NT integration program--the "IT Collaboration Program--"provides integration and interoperation between UNIX and NT for such functions as file sharing, printer sharing, common messaging, and single-view management. The FDDI LAN adapters provide low-price, high-speed networking products that are key to implementing a high-availability, high-performance, 100-Mb/s LAN infrastructure that serves as a base for UNIX-NT integration.

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Manufacturing and financial services

The manufacturing industry has strongly embraced FDDI because of its 100-Mb/s speed, inherent reliability, fiber connectivity (insusceptibility to noisy environments), and long-distance capability. Aerospace, semiconductor, and automotive companies are among the leading proponents of FDDI. Manufacturing companies frequently use CAD/CAM technologies to design products and then merge these new products into manu-facturing lines. FDDI is particularly good for transporting large files or image-intensive data over long distances at high speeds and with high availability.

FDDI has also gained popularity in the financial services industry for many of the same reasons as in manufacturing. Banks and brokerage firms also need to transport large files and image-intensive data over long distances at high speeds, with high availability.

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Application and database server connections

SAP R/3 is an example of a leading full-function core business application software package. It is based on a three-tier client/server architecture (client tier, application-server tier, and database-server tier). FDDI is particularly well-suited to link application servers to database servers as it offers proven 100-Mb/s speeds, long-distance fiber capa-bilities, and dual rings for high availability.

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Full HP product support

These FDDI LAN adapters are HP products with HP ordering and HP support. They are NOT third-party reference products. They have been tested by HP and include support for the following high-function HP diagnostic, exerciser, and administrative products:

  • NETTL--a network tracing and logging product
  • LANADMIN--a menu-oriented administrative product that reads and controls LAN statistics captured in both the adapter and the driver
  • SAM-- a configuration and setup product that allows the product to be configured according to customer inputs
  • LANSCAN--an administrative product that senses the state of the hardware adapter
  • LINKLOOP--an exerciser/test product that sends test packets over a loopback configuration
  • Software Distributor (SD)--an administrative product for the local and remote installation of software
  • MESA--a diagnostic product for troubleshooting (Note: not available for approximately the first two months of the product)

These diagnostic, exerciser, and administrative products provide a rich set of valuable functions that allow customers to install, con-figure, log and trace, and tune their FDDI LAN networks. They are prime examples of added-value products included in the overall FDDI LAN product set that makes the cus-tomer's LAN management easier and faster.

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High availability

High availability is becoming increasingly important in the marketplace as customers place business-critical applications online and on the Internet/intranet. MC/ServiceGuard is a hallmark HP product that enables high- availability services. MC/ServiceGuard fully supports all of these FDDI LAN adapters.

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These FDDI LAN adapters provide connectivity on the HP 9000 Enterprise Server via multiple FDDI links.

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Software support

The HP-PB FDDI product, which has been available for several years, supports a wide range of HP-UX releases and protocols. The other FDDI products will initially support the TCP/IP family of protocols and services, including NFS and Internet Services. In the future, support is planned for other protocols, such as IPX/SPX (for NetWare).

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Single and dual stations

Both single and dual stations are supported to give customers maximum flexibility in the way they configure their HP FDDI products. The dual-station capability also provides added fault tolerance to enhance high availability.

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Overview of FDDI

An FDDI network is a 100-Mb/s fiber-optic token ring LAN arranged in a dual-counterrotating ring, fault-tolerant topology. The FDDI token ring topology offers 100 Mb/s, with a maximum length of 2 km between stations, up to 500 stations per ring, and a 100-km maximum ring circumference.

An FDDI network can include dual-attach stations, single-attach stations, and concentrators. Con-centrators connect multiple single-attach stations to the FDDI network in a star-like fashion and provide the interface to the dual-ring architecture. The concentrator maintains the fault-tolerant capability and is used with single-attach stations.

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Additional information

For additional information on HP products and services, visit us at the Hewlett-Packard website.

For more information, contact any of our worldwide sales offices or HP Channel Partners (in the U.S. call 1 800 637 7740).

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