Service Description

Fibre Channel Consortium Services

Currently testing 2G and 4G Fibre Channel Devices. Currently expanding our 8G tools!

The Fibre Channel Consortium is committed to offering top-quality testing services to support the Fibre Channel vendor community. Use the links below to learn more:

           Interoperability Testing Against Active Reference Fibre Channel Device Test Bed
           Point-to-Point BER Verification and Speed Negotiation
           Protocol Layer Conformance Testing
           Physical Layer Conformance Testing

Interoperability Testing Against Active Reference Fibre Channel Device Test Bed:
test bed One of the primary functions of the Fibre Channel Consortium is to build and maintain an active test bed of Fibre Channel devices, comprised of representative products from each consortium member, which is available to consortium members for the purpose of establishing and verifying Fibre Channel interoperability beyond the scope of what is typically achievable in a plugfest environment. This test bed is employed to discover and troubleshoot new interoperability issues that can (and do) emerge as the technology continues to develop and new products continue to enter the marketplace. The active test bed serves as a continually growing and evolving representation of real-world Fibre Channel products that any given Fibre Channel device should be expected to interoperate with in a real-world environment. Testing against this test bed allows device manufacturers to establish a greater degree of confidence that their new products will perform properly with the existing Fibre Channel infrastructure.

Consortium members schedule access to the test bed on a weekly first-come first-served basis, and ultimately receive an interoperability report detailing the various devices and configurations that were tested, along with detailed descriptions of any issues that were discovered during the course of testing. Members may also request specific topologies and configurations in order to verify and troubleshoot specific interoperability issues that may be discovered outside of the UNH-IOL.

Current interoperability tests suites include Large Loop Build, Multi-Initiator Loop, Fabric Pair, Hub Interoperability, and Fabric Build. Storage system level test suites are currently under investigation.

Point-to-point BER Verification and Speed Negotiation:
point to point interoperability In addition to the interoperability test bed of Fibre Channel devices, the Fibre Channel Consortium also maintains a selection of reference test channels, which are used to further stress the robustness of the Fibre Channel physical layer under maximally attenuated channel conditions. Separate from the full System Interoperability Test Service above, this testing service focuses on verifying physical layer performance over a maximally attenuated real-world point-to-point link. It utilizes an IOL-developed methodology and test setup to verify that a Device Under Test (DUT) can successfully sustain performance at a target Bit Error Rate (10-12), over a specific reference channel, with a given Link Partner. While the System Interoperability Test Service focuses primarily on higher layer (i.e., protocol) issues, the BER Verification Test is focused specifically on the physical layer. Members may choose from a selection of various reference channels for the different Fibre Channel connector types, and also select various Link Partner devices from the active test bed. A summary report is issued, indicating the channels and devices that were tested against, along with the observed BER results for each configuration.

Protocol Conformance Testing:
protocol test equipment The Fibre Channel Consortium currently has a wide variety of protocol level test suites utilizing equipment from analyzers and generators from Itech, CATC, and Finisar. We currently have 2G and 4G test equipment, and are expanding our 8G test tools. These tests include (but are not limited to) Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL-2), Fabric Loop Attachment (FC-FLA), Private Loop SCSI Direct Attach (FC-PLDA), Framing and Signaling (FC-FS), and Switch Fabric (FC-SW).

Physical Layer Conformance Testing:
physical layer tools In addition to the interoperability testing, the Fibre Channel Consortium is in the process of developing optical and electrical physical layer conformance test services for Fibre Channel devices, based on the specifications defined in the FC-PI-5 Fibre Channel Standard. The testing is performed using methodologies developed by the UNH-IOL, providing unbiased, independent, third-party test results. The test suite for this service is currently under development.