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FC technology use still leads despite Ethernet nipping at its heels

At least two technologies have tried to overtake Fibre Channel (FC) in the past decade: Ethernet and InfiniBand. Both have failed and FC use continues unabated. Why is that happening, and what's the future of FC?

  • Premiered: 04/08/14
  • Author: Arun Taneja
  • Published: Tech Target: Search Storage
Topic(s): TBA Arun Taneja TBA FC TBA Fibre Channel TBA SAN TBA Storage TBA SCSI TBA iSCSI TBA InfiniBand TBA scalability TBA QoS TBA Ethernet TBA NFS TBA CIFS TBA lossless TBA FCoE
news

Ethernet advances haven't pushed FC SANs into retirement

Storage networking has proven to be the exception to the adage, "Ethernet always wins," and it's unlikely to change soon. Ethernet has made inroads in storage, but Fibre Channel (FC) SANs remain the performance leader, and will stick around for the foreseeable future with 16 Gbps FC adoption growing and 32 Gbps FC on the horizon.

  • Premiered: 04/29/14
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: Tech Target: Search Storage
Topic(s): TBA Arun Taneja TBA Ethernet TBA Fibre Channel TBA SAN TBA SSD TBA Flash TBA lossless TBA iSCSI
Profiles/Reports

Fibre Channel: The Proven and Reliable Workhorse for Enterprise Storage Networks

Mission-critical assets such as virtualized and database applications demand a proven enterprise storage protocol to meet their performance and reliability needs. Fibre Channel has long filled that need for most customers, and for good reason. Unlike competing protocols, Fibre Channel was specifically designed for storage networking, and engineered to deliver high levels of reliability and availability as well as consistent and predictable performance for enterprise applications. As a result, Fibre Channel has been the most widely used enterprise protocol for many years.

But with the widespread deployment of 10GbE technology, some customers have explored the use of other block protocols, such as iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), or file protocols such as NAS. Others have looked to Infiniband, which is now being touted as a storage networking solution. In marketing the strengths of these protocols, vendors often promote feeds and speeds, such as raw line rates, as a key advantage for storage networking. However, as we’ll see, there is much more to storage networking than raw speed.

It turns out that on an enterprise buyer’s scorecard, raw speed doesn’t even make the cut as an evaluation criteria. Instead, decision makers focus on factors such as a solution’s demonstrated reliability, latency, and track record in supporting Tier 1 applications. When it comes to these requirements, no other protocol can measure up to the inherent strengths of Fibre Channel in enterprise storage environments.

Despite its long, successful track record, Fibre Channel does not always get the attention and visibility that other protocols receive. While it may not be winning the media wars, Fibre Channel offers customers a clear and compelling value proposition as a storage networking solution. Looking ahead, Fibre Channel also presents an enticing technology roadmap, even as it continues to meet the storage needs of today’s most critical business applications.

In this paper, we’ll begin by looking at the key requirements customers should look for in a commercial storage protocol. We’ll then examine the technology capabilities and advantages of Fibre Channel relative to other protocols, and discuss how those translate to business benefits. Since not all vendor implementations are created equal, we’ll call out the solution set of one vendor – QLogic – as we discuss each of the requirements, highlighting it as an example of a Fibre Channel offering that goes well beyond the norm.

Publish date: 02/28/14