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Numerous articles and white papers have been written on the performance advantages of Fibre Connection (FICON) over Enterprise Systems Connection (ESCON). Clearly, FICON is a major improvement over ESCON; data centers that have migrated from ESCON to FICON have seen improved response times and performance. Yet, only an estimated 20 to 25 percent of existing ESCON customers have migrated to FICON. A major factor in delaying a migration to FICON is the initial cost of entry, including the purchase of new hardware and infrastructure. Another factor was the lack of native FICON storage devices when FICON was initially announced as generally available. This has led to many prospective FICON customers having to do “rolling upgrades” of storage devices, which has further increased the cost of migrating. Mainframe users find it difficult to recognize and quantify cost savings associated with eliminating some ESCON infrastructure and leveraging other existing ESCON hardware by attaching it to the FICON network. …

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In today’s 24x7 data center, one copy of a critical application volume isn’t enough. To run backup operations, load data warehouses, or test new versions of applications without disrupting the flow of information to users and applications, IT administrators must create multiple copies of primary production volumes…

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