No unified networking with Fujitsu's bladed server - yet

FCoE coming

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There is no unified networking with FTS's freshly-announced Dynamic Cube - yet. But FCoE is coming.

Yesterday's announcement of the BX900 by Fujitsu Technology Solutions showed that it supported both Ethernet and Fibre Channel connections, with Brocade and Cisco Fibre Channel switches being certified. There was no support for the use of converged network adapters (CNAs), the enhanced NICs that carry out the processing of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and thus converge Fibre Channel networking onto Ethernet.

The BX900 does support software-initiated FCoE, but this is not the same thing as it means server CPU cycles are needed to create FCoE data packets. However, FTS has two initiatives which could bring hardware FCoE offload to the BX900. InfiniBand support is also coming to the BX900.

Jens-Peter Seick, FTS' SVP for x86 servers, said that FTS has an arrangement with Blade Network Technologies (BNT) for it to possibly supply an Ethernet switch with FCoE capabilities. BNT has a white paper discussing converged networking, FCoE and InfiniBand here (PDF).

Bernard Brandwitte, FTS' director of product marketing, discussed potential use of a Fujitsu converged Ethernet switch to bring FCoE CNAs into the Dynamic Cube capability list. There is a PowerPoint deck describing the kind of technology he referred to on Fujitsu's website (PDF).

With the BX900, Fujitsu has staked its claim to be a unified data centre system supplier, alongside, Cisco, Dell, HP and IBM, with Oracle/Sun still a possible runner depending on Oracle's intentions. Converged networking is fundamental to this and FTS does have an FCoE roadmap outline. ®

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