Feeds

Companies propose Ethernet/SAN love-in

New standards promise hot network-on-network action

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

A gaggle of top networking and storage vendors have submitted a new standards proposal that will allow Fibre Channel protocol over Ethernet networks.

The proposal was submitted to the T11 Committee of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) today. Among those backing the standards are Brocade, EMC, Cisco, IBM, Intel, Emulex, QLogic, Nuova and Sun.

After ANSI gives the green light, the proposed standards are expected to head to the International Organization for Standardization for worldwide adoption.

Aw yeah.

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) will allow SAN traffic to be natively transported over Ethernet networks, bypassing the TCP/IP stack.

"FCoE will remove a stopgap in communication between Fibre and Ethernet," senior technologist at EMC Wayne Adams said. "It's moving ones and zeros with low latency — without a routed environment."

While Fibre Channel is the standard in high-end data storage, the cheaper Ethernet option is becoming increasingly enticing with better reliability and 10Gbit/s technology on the horizon. The fresh standard could help unite the two worlds.

"This enables people who already have a large Fibre Chanel SAN infrastructure to keep everything they have in place," market analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group Tony Asaro said. "Users can merge this with 10G Ethernet without giving anything up."

Companies have already been working on product compliance in parallel to the submission, but it will still be about three to four years - fingers crossed - before the technology will make an impact on the market, according to industry reps.

Asaro also speculates that 10G Ethernet technology has to go down in price before people look at it in a practical sense for the highest-end tasks. 10G Ethernet currently costs about $3000 to $5000 per port.

Reliability is an issue as well.

"FCoE depends upon a loss-less Ethernet," SVP of Emulex, Ameesh Divatia said. "This can be done in the data center today using the 802.3 Annex 31B Pause protocol."

Further reliability issues making companies wary of using Ethernet in conjunction with high-end storage are being confronted through a proposed IEEE congestion management standard, Divatia said.

The companies involved claim combining multiple types of data traffic will see reduced management complexity, operating costs and power utilization. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Death by 1,000 cuts: Mainstream storage array suppliers are bleeding
Cloud, all-flash kit, object storage slicing away at titans of storage
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
VMware vaporises vCHS hybrid cloud service
AnD yEt mOre cRazy cAps to dEal wIth
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?