SNW the FCoE Show

Getting around a bit reveals some more about this spring's show

April 8, 2008

2 Min Read
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- A day into SNW, it looks as if this is going to be a show for FCoE fanatics.

Even if a supplier makes other kinds of storage networking gear, that will be conveniently forgotten tomorrow, when Cisco, Intel, Emulex, QLogic, NetApp, and others launch a series of press conferences and a demo showcasing the virtues -- and viability -- of FCoE.

No other storage interconnections need apply. iSCSI? Its wee market share will shrink even more when FCoE gets going by the end of 2009. InfiniBand? It was okay while it lasted, but it ain't going nowhere, thanks to FCoE.

"We're still over 90 percent of the installed base of storage networks," says Skip Jones, president of the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA), who is also director of technology at QLogic in his day job. The sheer preponderance of Fibre Channel will drive success for FCoE, he says, particularly as the spec is fostering unprecedented cooperation among industry leaders.

While many might agree with FCIA's take on InfiniBand, what about all the work that needs to be done on Ethernet to make FCoE viable? Won't the time required to finish those specs in the IEEE force users to settle for proprietary gear near-term?Humbug, says Jones. Use of FCoE only requires priority flow control, which most suppliers already have for Ethernet. And when it comes to storage, Ethernet is automatically lossless.

Case closed? Hardly. But if today is any harbinger of things to come, Fibre Channel fans in the vendor community are gearing up for a showing of solidarity tomorrow that could give some would-be iSCSI customers pause. More later.Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Byte and Switch's editors directly, send us a message.

  • Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO)

  • Emulex Corp. (NYSE: ELX)

  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)

  • NetApp Inc.

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