Finisar CEO Jerry Rawls loves Fibre Channel. Making optical components for use in Fibre Channel equipment helps keep over 3,000 Finisar employees busy all day, and Fibre Channel accounted for a hefty portion of his firm's $419 million revenues last year. (See Finisar Updates Expectations.)
"Fibre Channel demand overall will be strong for the next number of years," Rawls declared in an interview with Byte and Switch yesterday.
He dismisses speculation that iSCSI will cut into Fibre Channel sales. He's simply not concerned about iSCSI from a business standpoint. "In some sense, maybe I don't care," Rawls says. "There is a huge infrastructure around Fibre Channel SANs, a huge installed base of 2- and 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel switches... I just got back from visiting a site with more than 100 switches in one SAN."
No names are provided, but Rawls says the site was part of a telecom company.
Rawls, who's been CEO of Finisar since 1989, says Fibre Channel use is expanding, not shrinking, as the need for storage increases. "Growth in storage is all around us. Big SAN operators are growing at extraordinary rates," he says. Drivers include the use of video, online access for customers of financial firms and other suppliers of services, and the need to retain records in compliance with regulations -- and get access to them instantly.