Feeds

FCoE: Divergence vs convergence

Splitter!

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

If it ain't broke...

Other people suggest that the customer organisational boundaries will also inhibit any end-to-end convergence onto Ethernet. Will the FC storage networking guys smoothly move over to lossless and low-latency Ethernet even if end-to-end FCoE products are there? Why should they? Ethernet, particularly the coming lossless and low-latency version, is new and untried. Why fix something that's not broken? What is going to make separate networking and storage organisational units work together?

Another question concerns native FCoE interfaces on storage arrays. If FC SAN storage management functions are not migrating to Ethernet platforms then they stay on FC platforms which do I/O on FC cables to/from storage arrays with FC ports. So what is the point of array vendors adding FCoE ports? Are we looking at the possiblility of direct FCoE communication between CNA-equipped servers and FCoE-equipped storage arrays, simple FCoE SANs, conceptually similar to iSCSI SANs? Do we really need another block storage access method?

Where's the convergence here, with block storage access protocols splintering into iSCSI, FCoE and FC, as well as InfiniBand storage access in supercomputing and high-performance computing (HPC) applications?

Effectively FCoE convergence means just two things. Firstly and realistically, server edge convergence with the cost advantages being limited to that area, to a total cost of ownership comparison between NICs + HBAs on the one hand and CNAs on the other, with no other diminuition in your FC fabric estate. The second and possible thing is a direct FCoE link between servers and FCoE storage arrays with no equivalent of FC fabric SAN management functionality.

This could come if IBM adds FCoE ports to its SVC (SAN Volume Controller) so that it can talk FCoE to accessing servers and to the storage arrays it manages. Another possible alternative would be for HDS to add FCoE interfaces to its USP-V and USP-VM controllers, which virtualise both HDS and other vendors' storage arrays.

If customers have to maintain a more complex Ethernet, one doing general LAN access, WAN access, iSCSI storage and FCoE storage, possibly server clustering, as well as their existing FC infrastructure then where is the simplicity that some FCoE adherents say is coming? FCoE means, for the next few years, minimal convergence (and that limited to the server edge) and increased complexity. Is that a good deal? You tell me. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
NSA SOURCE CODE LEAK: Information slurp tools to appear online
Now you can run your own intelligence agency
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Cloud unicorns are extinct so DiData cloud mess was YOUR fault
Applications need to be built to handle TITSUP incidents
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
Stop the IoT revolution! We need to figure out packet sizes first
Researchers test 802.15.4 and find we know nuh-think! about large scale sensor network ops
SanDisk vows: We'll have a 16TB SSD WHOPPER by 2016
Flash WORM has a serious use for archived photos and videos
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Seattle children’s accelerates Citrix login times by 500% with cross-tier insight
Seattle Children’s is a leading research hospital with a large and growing Citrix XenDesktop deployment. See how they used ExtraHop to accelerate launch times.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.