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Optica’s Prizm was developed in close partnership with IBM System z to enable customers with ESCON application and device requirements to make a smooth transition to the latest FICON only System z12 (EC and BC) mainframe platforms.

Prizm supports conversion of native FICON (FC) to native ESCON (CNC) protocol, allowing mission critical ESCON and Bus/Tag devices to operate in FICON direct attached or FICON director topologies. Prizm supports attachment to a broad base of multi-vendor ESCON and Bus/Tag devices including disk, tape, printer, communications controllers and front-end processors. Prizm has completed IBM’s rigorous SAK testing and received full qualification to work with all ESCON Control Units.

FICON to ESCON Converter

Prizm accepts a native FICON channel from the mainframe (CHPID type FC) and converts the protocol for connectivity to multiple outbound ESCON channels. ESCON devices are logically mapped to the FICON channel our proprietary Prizm Configuration Data Set (PCDS) to create a custom configuration (CONFIG-PRZ) for your environment.

Prizm supports a wide variety of FICON topologies including Point to Point, Switched, Cascaded (ISL) and Channel Extended.

Prizm is a purpose-built appliance. It’s 2u high and is available in 1:2, 1:4 and 2:8 (FICON:ESCON) configurations. Prizm units fit easily into a standard 19 inch rack and ship standard with sliding mounting rails for easy installation (INSTALL-PRZ).

Prizm is a useful tool for customers moving to IBM System z12 (EC and BC) that need to preserve critical ESCON and Bus/Tag devices and applications. FICON migration at the host level without the disruption and cost of upgrading to FICON devices across the board offers IT managers many advantages. Relief from ESCON

channel constraints, the consolidation or elimination of costly ESCON director infrastructure, and the move to a single cable infrastructure for simplified planning and operations. Once Prizm is deployed, the migration of the remaining devices from ESCON to FICON can be managed over any time horizon.

To see Prizm solutions in action, visit our Applications and Best Practices page for supported environments and deployment examples.

To find out more about our Bus/Tag interface feature (ESBT) for Prizm visit ESBT.

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Prizm Front
Prizm Back
Prizm Rack

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In addition to these hardware solutions, Optica offers a suite of professional services. We provide
comprehensive infrastructure planning and design, installation and testing services.