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Bridge for implementing a converged network protocol to facilitate communication between different communication protocol networks

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Title: Bridge for implementing a converged network protocol to facilitate communication between different communication protocol networks.
Abstract: Provided are a computer program product, system, and method for a bridge for implementing a converged network protocol to facilitate communication between different communication protocol networks. A first adaptor implements a first communication protocol and a second adaptor implementing a converged network protocol, wherein the converged network protocol facilitates communication of packets encoded with a second communication protocol with a third communication protocol network. Parameters are configured in a memory for communication between the first adaptor and the second adaptor in the converged network protocol to indicate to the second adaptor that the converged network protocol is supported, wherein the first adaptor does not support the converged network protocol. A packet is received at the first adaptor encoded in the second communication protocol directed to the third communication protocol network. The packet is forwarded to the second adaptor to forward to the third communication protocol network. A command is received at the second adaptor, directed to the first adaptor, to implement a function in the converged network protocol for communication between the first and second adaptors. Operations are performed to implement the function using the parameters in the memory to support transmission of packets between the first and the second adaptors. ...


Browse recent International Business Machines Corporation patents - Armonk, NY, US
Inventors: Louie A. Dickens, Roger G. Hathorn, Michael E. Starling, Daniel J. Winarski
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120106558 - Class: 370401 (USPTO) - 05/03/12 - Class 370 
Multiplex Communications > Pathfinding Or Routing >Switching A Message Which Includes An Address Header >Having A Plurality Of Nodes Performing Distributed Switching >Bridge Or Gateway Between Networks

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120106558, Bridge for implementing a converged network protocol to facilitate communication between different communication protocol networks.

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a computer program product, system, and method for a bridge for implementing a converged network protocol to facilitate communication between different communication protocol networks.

2. Description of the Related Art

Fibre Chanel over Ethernet (FCoE) is a protocol standard that encapsulates Fibre Channel (FC) frames in Ethernet frames to allow an Ethernet network to communication withy low latency, high performance networks, such as Fibre Channel. FCoE requires extensions or enhancements to the Ethernet protocol. The enhanced functions provided are referred to as Data Center Bridging (DCB) and Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE). A FCoE fabric is built with switches and adaptors that support the CEE and DCB protocols. An FCoE fabric includes a CEE/DCB switch that has ports for Fibre Channel connections and ports to connect to CEE ports supporting the enhanced CEE/DCB functions. Enhanced Ethernet ports are implemented in a Converged Network Adaptors (CNA) and the switches for interfacing between the FCoE fabric and Fibre Channel network are also known as Fibre Channel Forwarders (FCF). The FCoE fabric, also referred to as a Data Center Fabric, interacts with a real Fibre Channel fabric, and FCoE supports advanced Fibre Channel features.

In FCoE, frames from Fibre Channel packets are encapsulated into an Ethernet frame by a logical end point (LEP) which is a translator between the Ethernet and Fibre Channel protocols. The CNA adaptors, FCoE switches, and FCFs comprise LEPs. Further, software can be provided to perform the LEP operations on a server.

However, to integrate Ethernet networks with FCoE switches, the servers and hosts in the Ethernet network must have adaptors that support the CEE protocol, such as CNA adaptors. Replacing the relatively inexpensive legacy Ethernet adaptors, i.e., those supporting IEEE 802.11, with adaptors hat support FCoE can be expensive.

There is a need in the art for improved techniques for integrating a legacy Ethernet network with a FCoE network to allow lossless communication with a Fibre Chanel fabric.

SUMMARY

Provided are a computer program product, system, and method for a bridge for implementing a converged network protocol to facilitate communication between different communication protocol networks. A first adaptor implements a first communication protocol and a second adaptor implementing a converged network protocol, wherein the converged network protocol facilitates communication of packets encoded with a second communication protocol with a third communication protocol network. Parameters are configured in a memory for communication between the first adaptor and the second adaptor in the converged network protocol to indicate to the second adaptor that the converged network protocol is supported, wherein the first adaptor does not support the converged network protocol. A packet is received at the first adaptor encoded in the second communication protocol directed to the third communication protocol network. The packet is forwarded to the second adaptor to forward to the third communication protocol network. A command is received at the second adaptor, directed to the first adaptor, to implement a function in the converged network protocol for communication between the first and second adaptors. Operations are performed to implement the function using the parameters in the memory to support transmission of packets between the first and the second adaptors.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of a network computing environment.

FIG. 2 illustrates an embodiment of an Ethernet frame encapsulating FCoE and Fibre Channel frames in a manner known in the prior art.

FIG. 3 illustrates an embodiment of a host.

FIG. 4 illustrates an embodiment of operations to establish a connection between a first adaptor and second adaptor.

FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment of operations to process a pause instruction received at the second adaptor.

FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment of operations to process a pause instruction received at the first adaptor.

FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of operations to process a received packet to manage class bandwidth allocations.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of a network computing environment. A bridge 2 provides communication between hosts 4a, 4b, 4c in a first communication protocol network 6, such as legacy Ethernet, exchanging packets in a second communication protocol, such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) with hosts 8a, 8b, 8c, operating in a third communication protocol network 10, such as a Storage Area Network (SAN) or

Fibre Channel network. The hosts 4a, 4b, 4c include adaptors having ports that communicate using the first communication protocol (e.g., Ethernet) and the hosts 8a, 8b, 8c include adaptors that communicate using the third communication protocol (e.g., Fibre Channel). The bridge 2 implements a converged network protocol to provide a converged network 12, such as a CEE/DCB network, that interfaces between the first communication protocol network 6 and the third communication protocol network 10. Packets transmitted from the hosts adaptors may be encoded with a second communication protocol, e.g., FCoE, by second communication protocol software in the hosts. The bridge 2 forwards packets via a second adaptor 30a, 30b, 30c to a port on a switch 14, such as a Fibre Channel Forwarder (FCF), that decapsulates the payload from the packet for transmission in the third communication protocol (e.g., Fibre Channel) to one of the hosts 8a, 8b, 8c in the third communication protocol network 10. In certain implementations, the bridge 2 provides for lossless transmission of packets from the first communication protocol network 6, which does not support lossless transmission, to the third communication protocol network 10, which does support lossless transmission. The switch 14 includes adaptors to support connections with hosts 8a, 8b, 8c in the third communication protocol network, and separate adaptors to support communication with the converged network 12, including the bridge 2 in the network 12. In this way, the bridge allows hosts 4a, 4b, 4c to maintain their legacy adaptors in the first communication protocol, without upgrading, to communicate with systems 8a, 8b, 8c supporting only the third communication protocol (e.g., Fibre Channel). Although the host adaptors 4a, 4b, 4c may only support the first communication protocol, the hosts 4a, 4b, 4c may include software capable of coding packets with second communication protocol information (e.g., FCoE), encapsulated into the first communication protocol packet.

The bridge includes a central processing unit (CPU) 20, such as one or more processors, a memory 22 to store parameters and other data, a first communication protocol chipset 24 to support communication using adaptors 26a, 26b, 26c with hosts 4a, 4b, 4c using the first communication protocol and a converged network protocol chipset 28 to support communication using adaptors 30a, 30b, 30c with one or more switches 14 using the second communication protocol. The adaptors 26a, 26b, 26c and 30a, 30b, 30c may each include one or more ports. A bus 32, comprising one or more bus interfaces, provides communication among the components 20, 22, 24, 26a, 26b, 26c, 28, and 30a, 30b, 30c.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120106558 A1
Publish Date
05/03/2012
Document #
12916405
File Date
10/29/2010
USPTO Class
370401
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
04L12/56
Drawings
6


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