Fibre Channel over Ethernet: New Beginning or FC's Last Gasp?


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Vendors of storage networking hardware have been hyping Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) as the next big thing in storage networking. FCoE has the potential to leverage converged 10 Gigabit Ethernet networks while still using FC to manage network storage. To help cut through the hype of the pros and cons of FCoE, this note:

  • Details how FCoE works and how it is different from both regular Fibre Channel and the Ethernet-based alternative iSCSI.
  • Examines some of the value propositions for using FCoE on next generation 10 Gigabit Ethernet networks.
  • Discusses the reasons for the continued dominance of Fibre Channel in larger enterprises – likely candidates for FCoE adoption.

FCoE does have the potential to bring a key value proposition of iSCSI – use of lower-cost standard Ethernet in place of higher cost Fibre Channel hardware – to the Fibre Channel storage world. Enterprises should also note, however, that it will lock end users into Fibre Channel solutions as they transition to 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

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Search Code: 8534
Published: June 2, 2008
Last Revised: June 2, 2008

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