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Fibre Channel Doomed, Says Metcalfe

It's no surprise that Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet and partner at Polaris Venture Partners, thinks the protocol he named in 1973 will eventually dominate storage networks. What gives one pause is how adamant he is that Ethernet will win over all other storage transports.

"Fibre Channel's doomed," he said in a recent interview with Light Reading TV (LRTV), the new broadband video channel for Byte and Switch's parent publication.

When asked how long it would be before Fibre Channel companies started having a really hard time due to Ethernet's advance, he said: "It'll be over in ten years."

While Metcalfe embraces diversity of transport protocols in areas like mobile computing, he's adamant that Fibre Channel will be outshone by Ethernet's virtues. "The Internet business model, based on a du jour standard based on fierce competition, based on a market ethic of interoperability, based on the market evolution of the product while preserving the installed base: That is what Ethernet is, I think."

Some would claim all that for Fibre Channel, too. But Metcalfe isn't shy about making pronouncements. And, in his view, Ethernet, more than any other protocol, is evolving as a force for network growth and innovation in data centers and SANs as well as carrier networks.

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