IBM Netfinity ESCON PCI-Adapter

IBM Netfinity ESCON PCI-Adapter


 IBM Netfinity ESCON PCI-Adapter     FRU P/N   OPT P/N
 ESCON PCI-Adapter                   10L7439   10L7368
 WRAP-Plug                           5605670

See > TIP H165698

(For a detailed installation description -> use IBM Netfinity ESCON Adapter Installation Guide P/N 20L0425 USA - Sep-1998) 

The following label was included with the option and contains important information that will be needed if service is required.


(The above label should be found attached - on the servers front cover.)

The Netfinity ESCON Adapter is a high performance adapter that enables PCI servers to communicate with mainframe systems through direct channel attachment.


The adapter acts as a control unit for Enterprise Systems Connections (ESCON), providing high speed throughput and excellent processing efficiencies for applications that require high-speed connectivity between a Netfinity server and a mainframe.

The Netfinity ESCON adapter can be configured to emulate the architecture of many different device controllers.
The ESCON adapter includes an onboard Intel® 960 processor.
The control unit emulations are implemented directly on the 960 processor allowing the server's CPU to focus on data block transfers and not channel interrupt processing. This efficient, interrupt driven structure is utilized to avoid the CPU overhead incurred by traditional operating system approaches. To further enhance processing efficiency, the on-board data buffering capability allows the adapter to respond to channel activity even when the PCI bus is temporarily busy. Data from the channel can be buffered into on-board memory and made available to the PCI bus when it is available. The use of modular firmware routines allows new implementations to be developed quickly and proficiently.
Due to the modularity of the ESCON adapter channel and PCI interface routines can be easily modified to adapt to changing hardware and software requirements.

The Netfinity ESCON Adapter is designed to accommodate standardized, mainstream channel applications as well as non-standard applications that use proprietary data transfer protocols.

Server Software

The Netfinity ESCON Adapter has been designed to support a wide variety of software operating environments and communications gateways.

Software currently supported includes:

Hardware Requirements

The Netfinity ESCON Adapter requires a full-length PCI slot.
A maximum of two (2) Netfinity ESCON Adapters are supported in a single Netfinity server.
A second slot should be left unoccupied in the server for each Netfinity ESCON Adapter installed.

Minimum processor and memory requirements are:

Software Requirements

The supported releases of software are:

For High Speed Access Services the following mainframe operating system is required:


The supported releases of Novell software are:

IBM Netfinity ESCON Adapter at a glance

 Power Requirements            5.5A at +5Vdc, 20mA at +12Vdc, 20mA at -12Vdc
 Connectors                    ESCON         ESCON MIC
                               Serial Port   DB9
 Dimensions                    4.2 x 12.29-Inch Standard Full Size PCI Adapter
 Operating Environment
   Temperature                 10°-40°C
   Relative Humidity           0% - 90%
 Standards                     PCI 2.1 Compliant
 Software                      On Board Control Unit Emulations 3174 (for SNA)
                               3172 (for TCP/IP)
 Available Device              Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
 Drivers and APIs              Novell NetWare
 Optional Data Link Drivers    IBM Communication Server for Windows NT
                               Microsoft SNA Server for Windows NT
                               Novell NetWare for SAA


  - ATTENTION - The ESCON adapter can be damaged by Electrostatic Discharge. Before removing the adapter from it's protective static bag, please ensure that you are free of static charge.

The ESCON adapter is a full size PCI adapter measuring 12.283 x 4.2 inches.
The adapter comes pre-configured and is ready to be installed.
There are no jumpers or switches that need setting prior to installation.

The following steps should guide you through a successful installation of the adapter.

  1.  Ensure the Netfinity server is powered down. The ultimate assurance of this fact  is to remove the power cable from the rear of the system.
  2.  Remove the system cover.
  3.  Determine an available slot for installation of the adapter. The adapter requires a  full-length PCI slot.
  4.  Remove the adapter from its protective anti-static bag.  The adapter has two connectors at the card edge, a  standard ESCON connector (top) and a serial port connector  (bottom). Remove the wrap plug shipped with the ESCON connector  and save it for diagnostic purposes.
  5.  Insert the adapter into the chosen PCI bus slot. Make sure the  adapter is fully inserted in the slot. Place a screw through the top  of the mounting bracket and securely fasten to the system chassis.
  6.  Replace the system cover.
  7.  Plug the ESCON channel cable directly into the top connector. Ensure the cable  end is fully inserted into the socket. You should hear a click as the connector  locks into place.

NOTE: The serial port is for diagnostics and is not used during normal operation.



The Netfinity ESCON adapter includes two Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on the back edge of the adapter.
These LEDs are located just below the ESCON connector and can be used to help isolate whether a problem is hardware or software related.
The LEDs will illuminate in one of three colors.
When the server's power is turned on both LEDs should always be illuminated.

The following table summarizes the use of each LED.

Color/LED Top LED Bottom LED
OFF Power Off Power Off
Yellow POST in Progress Channel Offline
Red POST Failed Emulation Not Loaded
Green POST Ran Successfully Channel Online

Table 11-1. Status LED Summary 

As soon as the system is powered on, under normal operation the ESCON adapter executes it's own Power On Self Test (POST) and then loads the emulation firmware. Follow the steps below to determine if the adapter has powered on successfully and is operational.


  1.  With the server powered on, check to make sure both LEDs are lit. If the top  LED is Green and the bottom LED is Yellow then the adapter has successfully  completed POST and loaded firmware. This is the normal condition prior to  starting the software. The adapter is operational. The bottom LED will remain  Yellow until the server is varied online at the mainframe console.  Proceed to the troubleshooting section on ESCON configuration and then the  section(s) appropriate to the software you are using.
  2.  If either LED is off, power down the server, remove the adapter, and re-install it.  Make sure the adapter is properly seated in the slot. Power the server back on.  (If the LED(s) remain unlit, contact the service provider).
  3.  When the server is first powered on both LEDs will briefly turn Red. When the  adapter starts running Power On Self Test (POST) the top LED will illuminate  Yellow. Once POST completes, the top LED will illuminate Green if POST was  successful or Red if POST failed.

     Watch the top LED as the system powers up. Verify the top LED goes from  Red to Yellow to Green. If the top LED remains Red or turns Yellow and then  Red again the adapter is not working properly. Power down the server and re-  install the adapter. Power the server back on. (If the condition repeats itself  contact the service provider).

     If the top LED is Yellow and the bottom LED is Red wait for 5 minutes to see if  the status changes.

  4.  When the top LED turns Green, POST has completed. The adapter's Intel® 960  processor will then load the device emulation (either 3172 or 3274). The bottom  LED indicates the status of the emulation.

     When the adapter is first powered on the bottom LED should be Red. This is a  normal indication that the emulation has not loaded. The LED will remain Red  while POST runs. Once the top LED turns green, indicating POST has been  successful, the bottom LED should quickly turn Yellow.

     If the top LED is Green and the bottom LED is Red wait for one minute. If the  bottom LED remains Red, the emulation has not successfully loaded. Perform a  hardware reset (or Power Off / Power On) of the server. (If the problem persists  contact the service provider).

  5.  If you have checked the software configuration and are still not able to vary the  system online, check the ESCON cable. Make sure both ends are properly  seated. Unplug both ends. Plug them back in. Be sure you hear them click when  you insert them into the connector.

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