Protocol Analyzers

Sierra M244

The Teledyne LeCroy Sierra M244 is the industry’s first SAS 4.0 protocol analyzer / jammer / exerciser system for testing next generation storage systems, devices and software.

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Sierra T244  The Industry's first SAS 4.0 protocol analyzer provides accurate and reliable capture of up to four SAS 24 Gb/s physical links for efficient test and debug of next generation storage systems.
Sierra M244  The industry's first SAS 4.0 protocol analyzer / jammer / exerciser system for testing next generation storage systems, devices and software.
Sierra M124A  The flagship four port analyzer, exerciser and error injection system provides the most accurate and reliable capture of SAS 12 Gb/s protocol for fast debug, analysis and problem solving.
Sierra M122A  Two port Serial ATA (SATA) & Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) analyzer / exerciser platform; Supports 6Gb/s (upgradeable to support 12Gb/s SAS)
Serial ATA Test and Verification: Teledyne LeCroy's protocol analysis tools are designed from the ground up to address these unique characteristics of Serial ATA. Teledyne LeCroy's analysis and design suites are developed specifically for use with the SAS and SATA protocols, and provide extensive protocol decoding, expert error analysis, and complete user support when decoding and viewing the recorded traffic. This extensive protocol support, combined with the different traffic views, advanced triggering, data filtering, traffic generation, and error injection capability, allows engineers to rapidly become familiar with SATA-specific issues, and quickly understand new issues the first time they encounter them.
Teledyne LeCroy provides everything needed for Serial ATA analysis including real-time hardware triggering and filtering on the critical components of Serial ATA traffic. Teledyne LeCroy's Expert Analysis software simplifies the overall debug process by using collapsible, color-coded packets to represent commands, FISs and primitives. This provides point-and-click "drill down" to lower level details along with the ease of use and understanding that Teledyne LeCroy is well known for.
Learn more about SATA (Serial ATA)Technology
SATA (Serial ATA) Overview
The storage industry is in the midst of a large-scale transition from parallel ATA, the dominant desktop storage interface, to Serial ATA. This migration reflects a broader transition across the industry to Serial technologies for computer-based communications. Driven primarily by lower voltages and costs required in future chipsets, Serial ATA is poised for industry-wide adoption. The specification thoughtfully preserves software compatibility with the Parallel ATA command set. What's more, it offers smaller, thinner, lower cost cables that also offer compatibility at the physical layer with the emerging Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) standard.
  • Performance - Parallel ATA does not have scalability to support several more speed doublings, and it is nearing its performance capacity. By contrast, Serial ATA defines a roadmap starting at 1.5 gigabits per second (equivalent to a data rate of 150 MB/s) up to 6Gigabits per second.
  • Lower Voltage - Parallel ATA's 5-volt signaling requirement will be increasingly difficult to meet as the industry continues to reduce chip core voltages. Serial ATA is better aligned with future manufacturing processes. It reduces signaling voltages to approximately 250 millivolts (1/4 volt).
  • Pin Count - Currently, the parallel ATA interface has 26 signal pins going into the interface chip. Serial ATA uses only 4 signal pins, improving the pin efficiency and accommodating a highly integrated chip implementation.
  • Improved Cabling - Parallel ATA bulky ribbon cables contain 40-pin header connector. Serial ATA introduces thin, flexible cabling scheme that offers longer cables and improved airflow within the chassis.
  • Software Compatible - Serial ATA is compatible at the register level with parallel ATA. This means Serial ATA requires no changes to existing software and operating systems in order to function, and it provides backward compatibility with existing operating environments.
  • SAS Compatibility - A significant feature offered by Serial ATA is the expectation that SATA will be form-factor compatibility with Serial Attached SCSI. SATA drives will plug directly into Serial Attached SCSI connectors and if supported in the system, will transparently operate as a SATA device. This allows systems to be deployed that can use either Serial Attached SCSI drives, for their high performance or SATA drives that will provide a lower-cost-per-megabyte storage platform.
  • SATA DevSleep™ - The latest SATA 3.2 specification includes DevSleep, a new feature designed to reduce power consumption and allow longer battery life as well as energy savings in the data center. It re-uses the 3.3V power pin on the SATA interface to instruct the device to enter the Sleep state where it uses less power than Slumber mode. With most low power modes, this new feature requires extensive testing at the protocol layer to ensure a seamless user experience.
  • Serial ATA is a full duplex protocol. There is a continuous flow of signals from each device moving down the bus. The device and host are transmitting (TX) and receiving (RX) at the same time.
  • Bidirectional traffic pattern eliminates the need for bus negotiation overhead
  • Data characters vs Primitives - Primitives are the simplest elements within the Serial ATA protocol. Primitives are 32-bit DWORDs used to initiate control of the serial line functions (X_RDY, CONT, etc...). In addition to these "handshaking" and flow control signals, Primitives are also used to delimit or "frame" user data.
  • Frame Information Structure (FIS) - A frame is an indivisible unit of information exchanged between a host and device. A frame consists of a SOF primitive, a Frame Information Structure (FIS), a CRC calculated over the contents of the FIS, and an EOF primitive. A FIS is the user payload of a frame; a frame is a group of Dwords that convey information between host and device as described previously.

Designed to address the next evolution of Serial Attached SCSI 4.0, the Sierra M244 is a four-port protocol analyzer that offers a built-in Jammer and exerciser for testing reliability and error recovery. With full support for 24Gb/s, 12Gfb/s, 6Gb/s and 3Gb/s SAS and SATA traffic, the Sierra M244 operating as an analyzer can record “4-wide” links. When licensed with the Infusion Jammer option, the M244 provides a “real-time” jammer capability to modify or corrupt traffic on 1, 2, or 4 ports simultaneously. The exerciser provides traffic generation and capture of packet level detail for debug and analysis.

Flexible Hardware

The Sierra platforms feature a fully re-programmable protocol-processing engine that can adapt to changes in the specifications. Future SAS enhancements including “interleaved FEC” and “bit-level re-timers” can be addressed with a simple firmware update. Host connectivity to the Sierra is optimized for fast access to captured traffic and includes both SuperSpeed USB and Gigabit Ethernet. Mini-SAS HD ports allow easy connection to SAS 12 Gb/s as well as future SAS 24Gb/s devices.

Flexible licensing options allow support for dual-port (2) or wide-port (4) links. The M244 can be licensed to support SAS 4.0 or, alternatively, licensed with SAS 3.0 which is field-upgradeable to support 24G when needed. Memory buffers are shared across all active ports for maximum flexibility. High port count applications are possible (up to 32 physical links) by simply cascading multiple Sierra units together.

Disconnect / Reconnect allows the Sierra system to be armed then disconnected from the host laptop. The analyzer will transparently wait for the trigger condition and preserve captured traffic in memory until the user reconnects to the analyzer. A built-in port provides DC power for target devices to supply SSDs or HDDs with 12v or 5v power. The rear chassis also provides a sync-port capable of synchronizing trace captures from multiple analyzer units, as well as from other protocols, using CrossSync technology.

Expert Analysis Software

Seamlessly integrated with Teledyne LeCroy’s expert analysis software, the Sierra platform overcomes the struggles of legacy debug tools with a revamped graphical interface featuring easy to understand displays of protocol traffic. For viewing commands and frames in sequential order, the Spreadsheet View provides a traditional table format that can be customized to add any field in a separate column. The Exchange level assembles frames and primitives into the logical SCSI commands, data and status transactions. This is critical for wide-port traces where large gaps can occur between command and status.

Use the Exchange View to see SCSI and SAS Management transactions fully decoded including Discovery request/responses, SCSI sense data and ASCQ fields. All of the analysis views can be used simultaneously and are automatically synchronized and displayed within one application. Any combination of display and filtering options can be configured as the default view making it faster to interpret captured traffic. Navigate traces at the logical command level, then easily drill-down to the chronological packet level.

Pinpoint Triggering

The Sierra provides hardware triggering to pinpoint protocol events of interest. Trigger events can be specified at the lowest levels including error conditions, bus states, primitives (SOF, OPEN-REJECT, TRAIN-DONE, etc..), header fields (Tag, LBA, etc…) or payload patterns (CDB, Sense Data, etc…). Users can define sophisticated sequential event trigger scenarios including complex sequences such as timing intervals between events or errors at specific LBAs.


Fast Search Tools

The Sierra SAS verification system provides extensive traffic metrics and statistics to help locate and identify protocol issues. Statistical reports provide hyperlinks to events in trace. Navigation in the Spreadsheet View is easy with Quick-Search. Click on any field and navigate forward or backward to the next occurrence. Add Boolean operators to find lower or higher values. Easily search by command, address, tag or status. The Quick Filter uses the same easy mechanism to hide selected fields. Markers can be added, searched and displayed as tooltips.

Integrated Jammer (InFusion) option

Building on the capabilities of the industry's first SAS/SATA error injection system, the InFusion™ option for Sierra M244 can programmatically alter or corrupt traffic for both SAS and SATA protocols. Fully integrated within the SAS4 Protocol Suite, InFusion is designed to create faulty link conditions while the analyzer records the real response from the system-under-test. The InFusion for SAS 4.0 is the ideal tool for stress testing systems while running real traffic and actual workloads.

Impair and Analyze up to 4-wide Links Simultaneously

The Sierra InFusion 24G option on the M244 platform can operate on up to four SAS or SATA links simultaneously. The M244 uses an active repeater front-end allowing it to programmatically alter or corrupt traffic for both SAS 24G and legacy speeds. The system can simultaneously record traffic over the same physical links selected for error injection. By default, the analyzer will use two channels to monitor before and after the error injection (A-J-A mode).

Powerful Error Injection and Traffic Modification Features

Once the Sierra InFusion system has been added to a SAS or SATA link, it automatically passes the boot up sequence and preserves all protocol handshaking between devices. It silently monitors the line while transmitting a faithful copy of the original data stream. The system will wait for a specific time interval or for an event designated by the user before it begins modifying frames or injecting errors. Sierra InFusion can be configured to send a single error, multiple errors, or random errors.

When changing fields within a frame, the Sierra InFusion traffic modifier will preserve the outbound frame structure, including recalculating the FEC and/or CRC if needed. The real response transmitted from the device-under-test will pass through the Sierra system, without modification to allow true end-to-end system testing.

Example Traffic Impairments /Actions
Drop Frame Drop Primitive Capture DWORD
Drop Link Replace Primitive FEC Correctable error
Insert DWORDs Change DWORDs FEC UnCorrectable error
Truncate frame Insert CRC-Error Alter Speed Negotiation
Insert Running Disparity Error Insert Symbol Error Replace Data pattern
Insert Idle Insert Primitive Reject Connection
Corrupt Framing Corrupt Flow control Loop scenario
Corrupt SSP, SMP, STP frame contents Insert Marker Jump to any state
Force Check Condition Count Event Trigger

Sophisticated error injection strategies are possible using the dual sequencers with up to 256 sequential wait states per sequence. Each state can be configured to check for different conditions or inject different errors before branching to the next state. Looping allows the error injection sequence to repeat at specific intervals. Each sequential state can also include timers and counters to better isolate specific link conditions.

Initiator and Target Emulator option

The exerciser connects to the system-under-test with standard MiniSAS HD cables and provides simultaneous traffic generation and capture of packet level detail for debug and analysis. It uses a script-based API that operates in real-time allowing users to meticulously test low-level functionality at full 24G line rate. It also allows users to transmit custom traffic patterns with low-level control of headers, payloads and timing. Invalid and marginal protocol conditions are easily generated to verify error recovery and device reliability.

A Comprehensive Solution for SAS and SATA

Teledyne LeCroy's Sierra platforms provide the advanced features necessary to ease development and deployment of SAS and SATA solutions. With best-in-class features and an extensible design, the Sierra systems are is well suited for low-level silicon validation as well as system and software level protocol debug.

Host Machine Minimum Requirements; Microsoft Windows 10, Windows 8.1 (x86 and x64), Windows Server 2012 (x64), Windows 7 (x86 and x64), Windows Server 2008R2 (x64); 2 GB of RAM; Storage with at least 600 MB of free space for the installation of the software and additional space for recorded data; display with resolution of at least 1024x768 with at least 16-bit color depth; USB 2.0 port and/or 100/1000baseT Ethernet  For optimal performance, please refer to our recommended configuration in the product documentation.
Recording Memory Size 32 GB or 64 GB
No. of recording channels T244/M244 - Up to 4 ports
Data Rates Supported 24Gb/s, 12 Gb/s 6 Gb/s, 3 Gb/s
Cascadable Up to 32 ports
Host Interface USB 2.0, USB 3.0, 10/100/1000baseT Ethernet
Data Bus connectors Mini-SAS HD ports
Front Panel Connectors Mini-SAS HD Initiator (up to 4 ports), Mini-SAS HD Target (up to 4 ports), External Trigger IN/OUT, USB 3.0 & 10/100/1000 Ethernet Host Interface.
Front Panel Indicators 5 LEDs (Trigger, Error, Link, Speed, Frame/OOB) for each of 4 Initiators and Targets; Status LCD; Power
Rear Panel Connectors AC Power in, DC Power out, SYNC Port
Dimensions Metal Chassis: 392 x 89 x 372 mm; With Bumpers 418 x 98 x 375 mm (16.5” x 14.75” x 3.8”)
Weight 3.6 Kg (8.5 lbs)
Power Requirements 90-254 VAC, 47-63 Hz universal input, 200W maximum
Sierra M244 SAS 4.0 Exerciser Option
Sierra M244 SAS 4.0 Infusion™ “Jammer” Option
DCM Option
SAS Verification Option
DC Power Cables