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The Fight Over FCOE

DALLAS -- Storage Networking World -- The push is on to make Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCOE) a data center reality, as this week's demonstrations by QLogic, Cisco-owned Nuova Systems, and other vendors attest.

FCOE has been controversial from the start. By presenting yet another data center networking choice for users, it complicates the purchasing cycle, even as it purports to simplify cabling. It also presents direct competition to iSCSI, which customers may find a time-consuming ball of hair to unravel.

As Senior Editor James Rogers reports, Soni Jiandani, chief marketing officer of Nuova Systems, relegates iSCSI to the SME environment. And she's not alone: The idea that iSCSI is just for SMEs is part of the FCOE rhetoric -- which is countered by claims from the iSCSI camp.

"Fibre Channel over Ethernet -- It's about Fibre Channel finding a way to survive," said Arthur Lee, president of the storage product line at 3Com's H3C Technologies in an interview here Monday.

Lee has disdain for faster Fibre Channel, too. "Eight-gig is meaningless," he says. In his view, iSCSI is the only solution that will enable data center networks to scale in a cost-effective manner. His company is touting huge iSCSI SANs that support multiple enterprise and telecom-ready 10-Gbit/s links.

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