* Posts by Mike Smith, Solarflare Communications

1 post • joined 25 Jun 2009

FCoE: Divergence vs convergence

Mike Smith, Solarflare Communications

Users see through the hype

Chris,

You make some great points. I think confusion stems from the notion that FCoE is a one-size-fits all technology. It is not. There are plenty of users that like Fibre Channel and have no need or desire to move storage to Ethernet. These users will continue to use Fibre Channel for a long time. There are also plenty of users that do not use Fibre Channel (only 20% of servers are SAN-attached), but instead use NAS or iSCSI. So why would they switch to FCoE if they have no storage management schemes to leverage and are already “converged” onto ethernet? They probably won’t. Also, simply upgrading Ethernet to 10G by itself reduces much of the cabling complexity and operating costs that FCoE claims to address (provided it is power efficient and low cost). With that said, many users will adopt FCoE, but they will be careful to make sure all the new pieces (lossless ethernet, driver stacks ported to new controller architectures, switch management ported to Ethernet switches) work before they deploy it for storage, much less converge all their server traffic on it. I believe the likely scenario is that users who deploy FCoE will do so because they are already using Fibre Channel and want to migrate their storage networks to an all Ethernet scheme. Convergence at the server is something to consider after the kinks have been worked out down the road.

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