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Getting Fired Up Over FCOE

Unified fabrics are proving to be a divisive topic

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCOE), although still in its infancy, is already proving to be a controversial technology, even for some of its biggest proponents.

Switch vendor Brocade, for example, used its recent Technology Day to roll out its FCOE strategy, but, intriguingly, urged users not to get carried away with all the vendor hype surrounding the technology.

We believe that, over the next six to eighteen months, FCOE will start to emerge and start to be deployed in a number of non-production and mid-tier environments,” said Ian Whiting, general manager of Brocade’s data center infrastructure division.

The vendor, which expects to have FCOE products generally available through OEMs early next year, was clearly eager for users not to get swept up with vendors’ promises of a unified networks Nirvana.

Although users can streamline their cabling (and potentially save money) by running Fibre Channel over existing Ethernet links, Brocade’s Whiting warned that FCOE will not necessarily be a cheap alternative to traditional Ethernet.

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