The current state of FCoE

September 24, 2009

Nigel Poulton has been posting some good articles about FCoE on It’s good to see a good discussion taking place, many people still don’t understand the basics, so it’s good to repeat and if you look at the details hopefully people will understand that FCoE shows great promise, with the caveat that we are still very early in the maturation of the technology.

A brief update on FCoE related standards

T11 FC-BB-5 has been ratified by T11 (so it is “done” although it still goes through some processing which is typically a “rubber stamp).

T11 FC-BB-6 is starting up and while the charter and timeline are not finalized, it will be discussing how to create larger FCoE configurations (allowing for creation of a “CEE Cloud”).

IEEE Data Center Bridging: the link level components (Priority Flow Control, Enhanced Transmission Selection and Data Center Bridging Exchange Protocol) are defined and should be ratified soon.  Congestion Notification is a 2010 target.  Layer 2 multipathing will be handled by the IETF TRILL standard which is defined, but not yet in products.

For more on the standards, see the presentations and papers below.

Product configuration today

EMC is supporting FCoE switches from Cisco and Brocade; Converged Network Adapters (CNA) from Emulex, QLogic and Brocade; OSes supported are Windows, Linux and VMware [as always, see the E-Lab Navigator for the latest]

Today, the configuration is from a CNA to FCoE switch (must have a switch, no support according to FC-BB-5 for server to storage w/o a switch; if you need this, use iSCSI) and from the switch you can then plug into the existing LAN and SAN.  Storage can either be plugged into the configuration via the SAN (through existing FC switches) or directly into the FCoE switch (today via FC or via FCoE when available).  Note that configurations of having FCoE traffic go through multiple FCoE (Ethernet) switches will require the updates which are being worked on in FC-BB-6 (although a small expansion of configurations specifically with blade servers should be able to be supported soon).  FCoE today is a consolidation at the server and access layer – full end-to-end solutions with larger aggregation will take time.

I have worked on a lot of FCoE collateral over the last year and thought it would be useful to create a list for reference:


Intro to FCoE w/ EMC – basic 101 of the technology

Deploying FCoE w/ EMC – the new equipment that you’ll need including cables, adapters and switches

FCoE Ecosystem – see FCoE Ecosystem post for more details

FCoE discussions w/ Kash Sheik of Cisco on the Storage ( and Network ( implications of fcoe


My EMC World 2009 presentation: Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), iSCSI and the Converged Data Center –

Innovation Network Lecture – Journey Towards the Converged Data Center (archived webinar)


Introduction to Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) (Updated Nov ’09)

Fibre Channel over Ethernet Techbook [from EMC E-Lab]

World Business Forum preparation

September 23, 2009

Between end of quarter activities and gearing up for both the World Business Forum and EMC Innovation Conference next month, my time for blogging has been a little tight.  The World Business Forum website has a nice bio on each of the speakers, below are some additional resources to help you become familiar with the speakers and their subjects before the conference.  Most of the speakers have books which I wish I had time to read, but blogs and videos will have to do.

Bill George: Bill has lots of good information on his website – including information on his best-selling book and a blog. He also has a Twitter account. His 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis:

  • Face Reality, Starting with Yourself
  • Get the World off Your Shoulders
  • Dig Deep for the Root Cause
  • Get Ready for the Long Haul
  • Never Waste a Good Crisis
  • You’re in the Spotlight: Follow True North
  • Go on Offense, Focus on Winning Now

Bill Conaty: Some background on him from a 2004 HR Executive of the Year post: Video on the HSM Americas site:

Patrick Lencioni: Articles and “point of view” posts are on his company’s website:

Jeffrey Sachs: A collection of articles are available on his university website: The website for his book Common Wealth is

T.Boone Pickens: A very interesting character – his website (you can skip the registration page): Also, here’s an interview on The Daily Show from last November:–boone-pickens

Kevin Roberts: He has a website – – which includes his blog.  Blog post from WBF Blogger Andrea Meyer did a nice summary of his webinar, Creating Loyalty in a Recession:

George Lucas: Beyond making some of my favorite films of all time (Star Wars series and Indiana Jones – did I mention that my dog’s name is Indiana?), Lucas has transformed the film industry with his company LucasFilm.   As noted in Wikipedia: Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic, the sound and visual effects subdivisions of Lucasfilm, respectively, have become among the most respected firms in their fields.

Gary Hamel: Two great blog posts from Hutch Carpenter – Gary Hamel: Hierarchy of Employee Traits for the Creative Economy and Gary Hamel on Management Innovation and Enterprise 2.0

In considering the Creative Economy, Gary put forth his own hierarchy of employee traits that will define the winners in the future. His representation of this hierarchy is below:

Irene Rosenfeld: NY Times article discussing her history of success:

Paul Krugman: His blog on the NYTimes: Interview on The Colbert Report in July:

Bill Clinton: The final speaker needs no introduction, but for an update on his recent activity, check out the Clinton Global Initiatives website:  President Clinton was also on The Daily Show recently – you can watch the interview here:

Two weeks until the conference!  Please share any additional resources that you have.  I am also still looking for your questions for the speakers.

Stuart Miniman

Follow me on Twitter @stu

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EMC Innovation Conference Update

September 10, 2009

We’re 1 month away from the Innovation Conference; here’s a quick update on the contest and view into next month’s conference.

Contest Update

In my last post on the EMC Innovation Conference, I discussed how this year, the judging was a mixture of a judging panel and community voting.  The semi-finalists were evenly split between the popular vote and the judges, with 1/8 overlap (high number of community votes and high ranking from the judges).  The judges then reviewed all of the semi-finalists to narrow down to 30 finalists.


Since there was a relatively low number of overlaps in the semi-finalists, I was impressed to see that ~1/2 of the finalist ideas (14 of 30) were community semi-finalists (and ~2/3 [21 of 30] were judging semi-finalists).  The finalists included a diverse population of EMC, including teams from 7 countries from a broad spectrum of the organization.  I’d like to offer special congratulations to 3 EMC bloggers who have ideas in the finals: Steve Todd, Barry Burke and Craig Randall.

Conference Update

EMC’s new Bangalore facility, which will be the primary location for this year’s innovation conference, has opened.  You can see a picture of the facility here (you will also note that it is a “LEED” certified Green Building).  BusinessWeek did a nice writeup:

EMC is signaling strongly that it seeks innovation from India—not just cheaper labor. When the company holds its third annual global innovation conference on Oct. 14, the main stage for the virtual event will be at the Bangalore campus…EMC is doing some interesting things to engage its global workforce. But, for now, the main point I want to make is that this company is doing the right thing vis a vis its Indian employees. It doesn’t treat them as commodity brains to be had on the cheap. It signals that it expects great ideas and work to come from them. I bet it will.

A key piece of the conference at each location will be a panel discussing local innovations.  Not only will this be great for the local conferences, but the sessions will be recorded so that they can be shared internally with the global workforce.

If you are interested in continuing the discussion on innovation, please consider subscribing to this blog.

Stuart Miniman

World Business Forum Blogger’s Lounge

September 9, 2009

We are less than a month away from the World Business Forum which is being held at Radio City Music Hall on October 6-7. HSM Americas has been announcing via Twitter the members of the Blogger’s Lounge.

As we lead up to the conference, you can get to know the bloggers through their posts which I’ve aggregated on the World Business Forum FriendFeed group.  During the conference, there will be a lot of Twitter activity.  For the best experience, I would recommend that you follow a real-time stream of the hashtag, #WBF09; I will be using Tweet Grid, which you can see from this link.

Twitter ID Name Blog
@smarterplanet Adam Christensen
@AndreaMeyer Andrea Meyer
Barry Ritholtz
@BenParr Ben Parr
@BobPrestonCCO Bob Preston
@innovate Braden Kelley
@conferencehound Bruce Carlisle
@Rascaltweets Chris Brady
@whatworks Dan Kehrer
@angrybearecon Daniel Crawford
@daveibsen David Ibsen
@economistmom Diane Lim Rogers
@donpeppers Don Peppers
@ellenfweber Ellen Weber
@felixsalmon Felix Salmon
@hankwasiak Hank Wasiak
Jeffrey Sherman Thomas
@JenBoynton Jennifer Boynton
@jimestill Jim Estill
@jonathanfields Jonathan Fields
@conferencehound Jordan Enright-Schulz
Joseph McCool
@yourboot Julie Lenzer Kirk
@chiefhotmomma Kathy Korman Frey
@newsweek Katie Paul
@angrybearecon Ken Houghton
@KenMcArthur Ken McArthur
@LaurynFranzoni Lauryn Franzoni
@VaultCareers Linda Petock
@lizstrauss Liz Strauss
@margeryw Margery Weinstein
@matmcdermott Mat McDermott
@MichaelStallard Michael Stallard
@nickaster Nick Aster
@Orrin_Woodward Orrin Woodward
@PaulDunay Paul Dunay
@wsj Paul Glader
@VaultCareers Philip Stott
@RJMAC Reena Jana
@Renee_Innosight Renee Hopkins
@chiefcatalyst Renee Lewis
Robert McNeill
@Robyngreenspan Robyn Greenspan
@RobynMcMaster Robyn McMaster
@Rohitbhargava Rohit Bhargava
@ryanm Ryan Mickle
@SethKahan Seth Kahan
@huffbusiness Shahien Nasiripour
@ssmirnov Stephanie Smirnov
@SteveRoesler Steve Roesler
@stevetodd Steve Todd
@stu Stuart Miniman
@starbucker Terry Starbucker

I will update the list as more information is available. [UPDATE: updated 9/29/09]  I was very excited when I saw the list of speakers at the conference.  Now I wish that there were two more days just to talk to all of the bloggers.  We will all be looking to pull the outside world into this event, I hope you will join us and let us know of questions that you would like discussed.

Stuart Miniman

Follow me on Twitter @stu

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Pull the Outside In for Events

September 2, 2009

In the current economic situation, a marketing idea that has gotten a lot of discussion is how business can use FREE to engage with customers.  Not that everything should be free, but that the idea can be used to give people a good understanding of a product or service before having to commit money. Conferences and events have been under intense pressure with the economic conditions, especially those that require travel which is one of the tightest controlled budget lines.  I have attended a few conferences this year and most of them have been embracing social media to enhance the experience.

In order to reach larger audiences, companies have been providing remote participation options.  Cisco’s Cisco Live and VMware’s VMworld both have very robust remote experiences (I attended Cisco’s in person and VMware’s remotely).  You can watch webcasts of the keynotes for free; Cisco also offers the technical content online for a lower fee than attending.  The one piece of the conference experience that is toughest to replace is the one-on-one interaction.  This is where I see social media playing the biggest part; not that blogs and Twitter replace this experience, but they give a flavor of the energy and engagement of the event.  People can remotely be pulled into the discussions remotely and will be more likely to want to attend in-person the next time.

Social media tools also provide an opportunity to get people engaged ahead of time.   The World Business Forum, at which I will be blogging in October, has been doing a nice job of this.  They have posted videos, webinars and blogs of the speakers available.  Not only does this promote attendance and build buzz, but it should also improves the quality of the attendees and their experience, since they will be more familiar with the topics and will, therefore, have better questions.  As a little help for the upcoming conference, I created a FriendFeed room which aggregates some of the related blogs and any Twitter posts tagged #WBF09.

View my FriendFeed

For recurring events, there is the further opportunity to build a year round community.  I recently got to learn more about the RSA Conference community (RSA is an EMC company).  The event is vendor independent, which allows the community to cover the entire security industry.  While traffic tends to be highest around the conferences, people share information and connect through the site year-round.  The community site has become a valuable resource to the industry, but it has also created connections between people that make the conference a “must attend” event where collaborators can meet face to face.

If you have an exciting and engaging conference, don’t kill it or go all virtual.  Consider how you can engage the community before and during the conference so that the free experience that they get outside will pull them in.

Comments are questions are always welcome and please consider subscribing to this blog.  If you will be at the World Business Forum, I’m always interested in discussing innovation and social media.

Stuart Miniman