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Brocade on FCoE: Baby Steps

Brocade is to networked storage what Kleenex is to tissue paper, a mainstay in the data center that has become a dominant brand synonymous with SAN fabrics. Considering the huge impact that Fibre Channel over Ethernet is expected to have on the storage market, Brocade's position on the subject is of interest to everyone. So I asked Marty Lans, Brocade's senior director of product marketing, if there is consensus in the industry about the adoption of FCoE.

Lans's first response was that convergence on FCoE is going to happen, but my interpretation of his response is Brocade clearly understands that convergence is a multiyear process consisting of millions of baby steps, rather than a big-bang type of event where a new CEE/FCoE universe explodes into existence. Lans identified a few of those milestones, which I put into chronological order below:

  • General availability of FCoE fabric and host products
  • I/O consolidation using FCoE top-of-rack switches on the edge of the data center
  • General availability of FCoE storage
  • Corporations smooth over storage vs. networking IT politics
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