Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Four-Gig FC Smites IP

As a new version of Fibre Channel takes root, hopes for IP SANs are wilting on the vine.

After a rocky start, 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel is on the move, and though it may take two years (or more) to make its presence felt in any significant way, it's almost guaranteed a spot on future SANs - a spot that just might have gone to an IP SAN just a few months back.

In this month's Byte and Switch Insider report –- 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel: The First Step Toward the Future –- author Rik Turner explores how 4-Gbit/s FC made it back from the brink of demise just a few months ago, snarling the plans of IP fans worldwide, who wanted Ethernet-friendly 10-Gig, not 4, to be next on the storage menu (see Fibre Channel SANs: 4G or Not 4G?).

"The sector had a momentary infatuation with 10 Gbit/s in the fabric as a knee-jerk reaction to 10-Gbit/s Ethernet," Turner says. But that was before it became apparent that deploying iSCSI is not as straightforward as just putting an iSCSI HBA into the server and attaching it to disk or tape devices.

Indeed, most SAN vendors, while supporting iSCSI and offering products, acknowledge it's going to take time for the market to ramp up. Currently, only IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM) offers an array with native iSCSI connections, thanks to an OEM deal with Adaptec Inc. (Nasdaq: ADPT). (See IBM Slips iSCSI Into SAN.) Competing iSCSI products from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) and Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP) provide add-on products that adapt iSCSI to fit their existing Fibre Channel arrays.

  • 1