Feeds

Brocade unfurls FCoE roadmap

CNA and FCoE switch next year

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Brocade is aiming to deliver an FCoE switch and FCoE server adapters, and sign a tier-one HBA OEM by the end of the year.

FCoE means Fibre Channel over Ethernet and involves sending Fibre Channel (FC) protocol messages across ethernet links. Traditionally FC messages pass through a fabric with switches and director nodes controlling the routing across the network from potentially thousands of servers to storage area network (SAN) storage arrays. Brocade's DCX (data center switch - a very large director) is built to accept incoming FCoE messages and route them across to the SAN arrays.

Existing iSCSI SANs use ethernet as a transport layer to carry TCP/IP messages to IP SAN storage arrays with no intervening fabric and fabric infrastructure of FC switches and directors. Literally, any old ethernet switch will do. It is confidently expected that storage arrays will emerge with native FCoE interfaces, at which point a server with an FCoE adapter or CNA could talk via ethernet and an ethernet switch to an FCoE storage array with no need for a FC fabric structure at all.

Ian Whiting, Brocade's vice president and general manager of its Data Center Infrastructure Division, said that Brocade will introduce FCoE server adapters and an FCoE switch: "A CNA is on our roadmap ... We expect to synchronize its launch with an FCoE switch ... available from Brocade in the first half of 2009."

Currently a server accessing a Fibre Channel SAN needs a Host Bus Adapter (HBA) to construct the FC messages and send them across the FC fabric. In the FCoE world an Ethernet Network Interface Card (NIC) needs a FC protocol function converged onto it, hence the Converged Network Adapter (CNA) name. HBA vendors Emulex and QLogic have produced and demonstrated CNAs operating in an ethernet network using a Cisco Nexus switch.

Brocade has recently entered the HBA market with products that embody some of the intelligence in a Brocade switch and produce what Whiting called 'orders of magnitude' performance improvements over existing HBAs.

Brocade, according to Whiting, expects to sign a tier-one storage systems vendor for its HBAs before the end of the year. A financial analyst suggests that this could be either HP or IBM.

It is possible that a Brocade CNA would share intelligence with a Brocade FCoE switch to deliver a better, faster storage access service than what we might term commodity CNAs talking via commodity ethernet switches could deliver.

Regarding ideas that FCoE could see a convergence of Fibre Channel and ethernet networks, Whiting commented: "It's not about network convergence, it's more about interface convergence. We'll have disparate Fibre Channel and ethernet networks."

Copyright © 2008, Blocks & Files.com

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Kingston DataTraveler MicroDuo: Turn your phone into a 72GB beast
USB-usiness in the front, micro-USB party in the back
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
BOFH: Oh DO tell us what you think. *CLICK*
$%%&amp Oh dear, we've been cut *CLICK* Well hello *CLICK* You're breaking up...
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
Amazon reveals its Google-killing 'R3' server instances
A mega-memory instance that never forgets
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.