FCoE: Facts and Questions

Today, I had the pleasure of participating on Wikibon’s FCoE: Fact vs. Fiction call.  In case you weren’t sure of the power of social media – even for a niche discussion of FCoE, a bunch of bloggers promoting the event had the call beyond the 200 line capacity of the system.  If you weren’t able to be part of the call, the audio is now available (click the play button below).

A number of posts are being created on the Wikibon site to summarize the actions that should be taken based on the discussion.  It’s a collaborative effort, I did the vendor actions post:

On February 2nd’s FCoE Fact vs. Fiction call call, we discussed that one of the key benefits of FCoE is that there is a robust vendor ecosystem including server, operating system, network and storage vendors. The creation of the technology includes new standards in both storage (T11) and networking (IEEE and IETF). There was some concern from practitioners that FCoE could be plagued with some of the interoperability challenges that have historically been found in the FC market.

As vendors are looking to move customers along the adoption curve of FCoE, they would do well to consider both the historical challenges of the industry as well as the long term goal of flexibility that customers are pursuing.

Action Item: Vendors that are serious about FCoE will do more than just give lip service to the development of solutions. They should actively engage in the creation of standards that will allow for vendor interoperability. They will also create robust documentation including reference architectures.

Footnotes: See EMC’s FCoE Techbook (http://www.emc.com/collateral/hardware/technical-documentation/h6290-fibre-channel-over-ethernet-techbook.pdf) and Emulex’s Convergenomics: The Converged Network Solutions Guide (http://www.emulex.com/solutions/convergenomics/convergenomics-guide.html)

Disclaimer: I work for EMC and Emulex was involved in organizing the Peer Incite Review Call on FCoE.

Please let me know if you have any additional questions on FCoE or topics that you think would be good for a blog post or video.

Stuart Miniman


5 Responses to FCoE: Facts and Questions

  1. Charles says:

    Check out this Solution Guide titled, “Deploying the Brocade 8000 Switch to Introduce Server I/O Consolidation into the Data Center”

    Click to access Brocade8000_GA-SG-161-01.pdf

    It describes a reference architecture for planning and deploying a converged network using the Brocade 8000 Switch, including several typical use case scenarios.

  2. Stu – first – thanks for participating in the call. You are a true expert in this field and your knowledge is impressive.

    Second I was struck by the dissonance on the call between vendor and user. Practitioners are overworked an stressed and they haven’t internalized this yet. I see it everywhere I go. That’s why I think you are right – the initial adoption phase may even be slower than we thought. But ultimately it will rocket because it makes too much economic sense.

    Looking forward to working with you in the future.

  3. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by Emulex: New blog post: FCoE: Facts and Questions http://ow.ly/13dV4 #wikibon (via @stu) #fcoe…

  4. Mike says:

    There are many problems with FCoE, poor integration with existing Fibre Channel and Ethernet networks. First implementation from Brocade and Cisco is not cost effective and 10GbE at this time is not so popular.

    You can see FCoE and iSCSI implementation examples at http://fcoe.ru

    • Stuart Miniman says:

      Hi Mike, what do you mean by “poor integration”? From a management standpoint, FCoE works seamlessly with FC environments. From an interop standpoint, FCoE and FC also work well. I’d agree that the cost of 10GbE is a bit high, but we’re at the beginning of riding that price curve down.

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