DATA CENTERS

  • 05/28/2009
    4:12 AM
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Intel and FCoE: The Power of Incumbency

The Open FCoE initiative will eventually succeed because everyone but QLogic and Emulex wants to leave behind the proprietary driver model that has been the basis of expensive Fibre Channel adapters for years. I believe Intel's approach is a winner and clearly stems from the experience of a company that is the incumbent leader in an adapter market where over 100 million ports migrated to 1 GbE.



I have to agree. Most people don't realize or appreciate the fact that today iSCSI arrays and iSCSI host adapters are volume products and by the far the fastest growing segments of storage arrays and SAN ports. Last year, about 80 percent of external storage arrays were Fibre Channel-connected with about 2 million Fibre Channel HBA ports. But mostly overlooked is the other 20 percent, consisting of iSCSI arrays connected with about 500,000 iSCSI host adapters, most of which were 1-GbE NICs or LAN on motherborad (LOM) used in conjunction with an iSCSI software initiator from Microsoft. Plawner summed up his response by adding that FCoE is just one of many use examples of unified networking that includes 10-GbE-optimized LOM, trusted Enterprise Class Ethernet, CEE for all traffic types, FCoE, iSCSI, NAS, LAN, I/O Virtualization, low latency (on standard Ethernet without iWARP). In other words, all this hype is about vendors focused on FCoE with CEE and FC is only on 10 percent to 15 percent of servers.




I believe Intel's approach is a winner and clearly stems from the experience of a company that is the incumbent leader in an adapter market where over 100 million ports migrated to 1 GbE.



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