Brocade and Cisco squabble over future fabric standards
Now playing - Acronym Wars: The Convergence Brutality
Clashing acronym disarray has hit the networking scene with Brocade's recent claim that vendors won't rally 'round Cisco's version of data center Ethernet.
But first, let us serve as your metaphorical machete to help clear away the acronymic jungle that lies before you:
Cisco and Brocade have rival visions for making their next-generation networking gear become ground zero for data centers by using the same fabric for both servers and storage. Lossless Ethernet and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) protocols figure heavily in the plans.
The industry standards organization IEEE uses the term "data center bridging" (DCB) for such a unified protocol proposal, and is presently in the process of hammering out the details for the technology.
Several vendors such as Brocade have already jumped aboard the bandwagon and adopted the term "converged enhanced Ethernet" (CEE) to cover the version 0 list of specifications to consider before all this convergence stuff becomes a standard.
Cisco decided to go its own way with "Data Center Ethernet" (DCE) — which the vendor describes as a superset of CEE AND DCB proposals, using most of the same specifications with a few things thrown in such as congestion notification.
And now the crux of the matter
In a recent Byte & Switch article (hosted on El Reg, thank you very much), Brocade took a swipe at Cisco by calling DCE a Cisco-trademarked term and a proprietary implementation.
This slur generated much anger over at Cisco's Data Center Networks blog. Welcome senior data center marketeer Deepak Munjal and his rebuttal:
There has been some concern that Cisco’s efforts around FCoE and Data Center Ethernet are proprietary implementations and not supported by the industry. Nothing could be further from the truth.
The fact is that FCoE and Data Center Ethernet enjoy support from a variety of vendors and are being adopted by many standards bodies including IEEE and INCITS T11. Many vendors including Intel, Emulex, and QLogic have already announced FCoE and Data Center Ethernet products and many more have committed to doing so.
Of course, the question remains whether FCoE is a winning force at all. Infiniband and iSCSI may hold the line if vendors don't get behind the latest networking fancy. ®
i Still Can't Sell It
Most people in the storage industry know that iSCSI stands for i Still Can't Sell It. Okay, that is probably a bit unfair but within the big multi-petabyte storage estates; iSCSI has not got that much traction. If we do IP storage, we do it using NAS and if we do, we do it using FC.There are odd cases when we need to do block storage over distance; but it's not that common for most of us.
Most of us are pretty interested in FCoE tho'; we are all concerned tho' about the impact this could have on the market. If FCoE takes off, Cisco are going to own the data-centre network and it is going to be very hard at this time for anyone else to compete.
You've got to be kidding. Infiniband over copper has a max specified distance of 20m, but Cisco only support up to 15m due to bit-error rate issues. Even over fibre it maxes out at 200m. Modern 10 GbE ToE adapters have faster latency times than Infiniband and don't suffer from the distance restrictions.
iSCSI and FCoE won't really compete much either. Which one you will use depends on what you want to achieve. FCoE will likely be faster and more reliable because it's lossless, but it doesn't use IP Layer 3 therefore it's not routable, where as iSCSI is. So for local fast storage within the confines of a single datacentre FCoE will be the protocol of choice. But for storage networks over longer distances, iSCSI is better.
I'm not swallowing the whole marketing spiel on Converged Ethernet either. Not yet at any rate. Maybe when 40 or 100 GbE products are available I'll change my mind, but only a twit would push network and storage traffic over the same copper pipe if performance were any consideration at all.
Except he wasn't rebutting your piece.....
he was taking my posting to task and specifically referenced my article
Credit, I did extract the initial information from your post.