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VMware has certified a Cisco and NetApp end-to-end FCoE connection scheme but this doesn't mean a new dawn as core switches still don't support passing on FCoE messages, only top-of-rack-switches (TORS). FCoE means Fibre Channel over Ethernet and involves sticking Fibre Channel messages inside Ethernet packets so that server-SAN …

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You don't need TRILL for multiple links running in parallel

I mailed the Cisco person and said: "People are telling me spanning tree is not enough. You need multiple links for example." Here is his reply:

"Whoever those "people" are, they are missing a fundamental aspect of standards-based FCoE as defined in FC-BB-5 today, namely:

A VLAN carrying FCoE traffic does NOT run Spanning Tree (STP). It runs FSPF. it can handle multiple links in parallel today just the same way that FC does.

What those people you're talking to may be referring to is the way that NPV works where a 'link' is chosen (mostly in a 'static' manner). but that does not mean all vendors operate in that way. it also does not mean that you cannot have a FCoE VLAN with NPV bundled on the same logical PortChannel bundle (N physical links in a single logical bundle) effectively using N links all active.

What it likely shows is that there simply aren't that many "switch vendors" that have a FC stack and can operate as an E_Port in the same way that you have E_Ports and ISLs in FC.

Brocade and Cisco, effectively being the last 2 FC switch vendors left standing have the luxury there (I guess QLogic does to some extent too). But it makes life hard for every other switch vendor with a vision of "Unified I/O" as having a fully-functional and field-hardened/proven/qualified/certified stack is by no means an easy feat.

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Chris.

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