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FCTracer 4G Protocol Analyzer:
LeCroy's FCTracer is a portable 4, 2 and 1 Gbps Fibre Channel test and debug platform that combines non-intrusive, multi-port recording with the most advanced triggering and decoding features available. By leveraging years of experience in protocol analysis tools for emerging markets, FCTracer fibre channel protocol analyzer blends sophisticated functionality with practical features to allow designers and validation engineers to easily specify multi-level, conditional trigger scenarios to pinpoint intermittent problems in the Fibre Channel fabric.

Fibre Channel SANs are growing in size and complexity, interoperability issues between
equipment from different vendors is often masked by fibre channel's built-in error recovery
features. The FC TRACER meets this analysis challenge with a new breed of test tool
designed to isolate intermittent problems in the lab or field. Easy portable 4, 2 & 1 Gbps
Fibre Channel test and debug platform that combines non-intrusive, multi-port recording
with advanced triggering and decoding features available. Up to 16 channel capability.
2 Parallel Event Sequencers with 256 States, each with Independent Trigger & Filter Criteria - Isolate intermittent problems by tracking two completely independent event sequences in parallel.
Two or Four 1, 2 and 4 Gbps FC Ports - Monitor, trigger and record multiple Fibre Channel ports simultaneously.
Link Tracker™ Trace Display - Chronologically display all DWORDs on all channels synchronized to a common clock.
Hardware Filtering - Extend capture window by removing non-essential primitives or truncating data payloads from the trace.
Performance Statistics - Quickly identify and track error rates, abnormal bus or timing conditions.
Long Term (Spooled) Recording - Enable capture of intermittent problems for which trigger conditions are difficult to predict.
Cascade Multiple Analyzers - By cascading up to 4 analyzers, time correlated traces for up to 16 channels can be obtained.
Remote Access over LAN - One or more FCTracers can be controlled over the network.
Traffic Summary Reports - Statistical summaries provide high level abstraction of events, sequences, exchanges, errors and throughput
Collapsible / Expandable Headers - Increased drill-down on Exchanges, Sequences, or individual Frames
Automatic FC-2 and FC-4 Level Decoding - View FC Traffic in context of the Fibre Channel protocol
Field upgradeable BusEngine Protocol Processor - Real-time triggering and filtering of Fibre Channel traffic at full wire speed
Real-time Performance Monitoring & Statistics - Easily identify throughput problems and anomalies
Dynamically Allocated Memory Pool - (2 GB) captures long time-windows for analysis and problem solving
Verification Script Engine - Create custom scripts that automatically parse trace files and perform verification tasks
FC-Auditor™ post processing suite - Optional software can automatically perform architectural compliance assessment on the contents of a trace file
Analyser Hardware:
The LeCroy FCTracer Protocol Analyzer is a hardware plug-in module that installs into the CATC Protocol Analyzer System (CATC 10K platform). The FCTracer ensures both accurate data collection and transparency on the link by recording traffic using active port bypass circuitry. SFP modules are used to ensure wide compatibility with various media types. A USB 2.0 connection is used to control the FCTracer hardware and provide high-speed upload of captured data. With the ability to control the analyzer over TCP/IP networks, you can remain productive in your own work areas while capturing trace data remotely.

The heart of the FCTracer Analyzer is LeCroy’s state-of-the-art BusEngine™ technology. The revolutionary protocol processor core incorporates both a real-time recording engine and configurable tools to trigger and filter high-speed Fibre Channel traffic. Fully field-upgradeable, this sophisticated analysis hardware is capable of recording millions of Fibre Channel frames in only seconds.

FCTracer's memory controller dynamically allocates memory resources up to a maximum 2GB across all four recorded channels. You can selectively exclude any channel from the recording to boost memory depth for the remaining channels. Set the post trigger buffer to determine where in the recording the trigger is located. FCTracer also offers a manual trigger button. External BNC connectors are available for cascading multiple FCTracer analyzers or for trigger in/out to other test instruments. A break-out board is included that can store out of band signals along with the recorded trace.

Advanced Analysis Software:
The FCTracer advanced analysis software automatically decodes network traffic and problems. For every trace, the software generates high-level views and traffic summaries that help point out where protocol violations occurred.

  • FC-1: Invalid CRC; running disparity error, invalid 10bit codes
  • FC-2: Frame, sequence and exchange violations
  • FC-4: FCP mapping and SCSI errors
For deeper analysis, you can view packet contents as raw 10-bit codes.

Event Triggering
For efficient testing and deployment of Fibre Channel networks, an analyzer has to let you extract useful information from a crowded stream of traffic, and accurately identify and selectively record what interests you most. With FCTracer software, setting complex recording, triggering and filtering options is easy and powerful.
This powerful triggering and filtering model is particularly useful for trapping intermittent problems within live SAN environments.

Sophisticated Triggering

FC-2 and FC-4 level events - allow you to choose from a library of predefined packet types including basic and extended link-services; SCSI operations; or primitives.

Custom recording templates - allow you to predefine and reuse custom trigger/filter settings within a development team.

Sequencers - allow you to create multiple sequential trigger scenarios that can each operate independently across multiple channels.

Counters - allow you to further qualify recorded traffic by tracking multiple occurrences of specific events, frames or sequences.

Timers - allow you to employ time-based thresholds to initiate actions including starting subordinate sequences, restarting counters and starting/stopping the recording.

Comprehensive Decoding
FCTracer automatically decodes FC operations and helps developers to focus on the information that is most important to your technical support, debug or development task.
At the Sequence level, FCTracer decodes Basic and Extended Link Services, GS-3 management server transactions, and FCP operations. The Exchange level intelligently groups sequences that are part of a common exchange for easy identification.

By accurately interpreting upper level protocols, you can focus on solving problems instead of spending time looking up information in the Fibre Channel Spec.

Automatic decoding of FC-SW-3 and FC-Tape protocol improves debug of Switch-to-Switch Traffic or FC connected Tape storage systems

Long Term Recording
Today's SAN technicians face intermittent problems that may be traced to incompatibilities or configuration problems in the SAN. In these situations, it is very hard to predict the trigger conditions or isolate the problem event using traditional analysis techniques.
With spooled recording, the Fibre Channel protocol analyzer can be deployed at strategic points in the SAN and record unprecedented level of detail about traffic moving through the network over extended periods. The system can actually capture time stamped trace data for I/O operations that occur over several hours or even days. In this recording mode, the size of the trace is limited only by the amount of available storage space. The advanced search and timing calculator can also span across spooled files.

Advanced Viewing Tools:
Link tracker shows DWORDs, Packet fields, 10b HEX or running disparity values (Click image for larger screen)
Fibre Channel's high data rate makes the ability to selectively capture the important traffic
critical. With real-time filtering
of primitives or user definable
frame types, FCTracer preserves recording memory and allows
you to focus your analysis on
the essential Fibre Channel
traffic. The additional Link
Tracker display allows you to
see DWORD level bus traffic in
a table view.

Powerful search options allow you
to find any primitive, or header
field in the trace. Display options
can be customized and it's easy
to save them to a configuration
file and share within the support
or development team.
Measurement and Statistics:
FC Tracer provides valuable traffic summaries of all viewable elements
(Click image for larger screen)
FCTracer will measure and report on traffic. For each sequence, you can see an absolute time-stamp, time-delta between sequential time-stamps, or idle time between packets on the same link.
The FCTracer's Traffic Summaries provide statistics on the occurrences of errors, primitives, frames, sequences, and exchanges. You can evaluate these metrics at a glance or use them to navigate through the trace. FCTracer also features graphical bus utilization and throughput reports and the Timing and Bus Usage Calculator provides various throughput and performance metrics.

Verification Script Engine The LeCroy Verification Script Engine (VSE) is a documented API that allows custom scripts to programmatically extract information from an FCTracer recording. You may use it to create "automated analysis" tests that open and parse actual trace files. The scripting language can perform very complex and tedious calculations on large trace recordings. In only a few moments, scripts can be created that automatically determine:  For example:-

  • Maximum Exchange Completion Time
  • Average time between CMD to XFER_RDY
Count "Out-of-Credit during Tenancy" events for any source/destination.
Contact us now for Fibre Channel analysers
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Call us now on 01276 211 22
E-mail: info@tapsystems.com
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