Friday, August 20, 2010

FibreChannel v. Ethernet and Cloud Computing

I am asking for your feedback. Please use the "comments" section if you're able to assist me.

I've been studying how data is stored on the internet, more specifically storage area networking and Ethernet solutions for enterprises and service providers. There appears to be a debate about the future of FibreChannel technology. This debate centers on the limitations of FibreChannel ("FC") moving beyond certain speed limitations. Apparently, FC cannot keep up with the next generation Ethernet solutions, which can go up to 100 Gbps.

FC has an option called FCoE, or FibreChannel over Ethernet, which is designed to integrate future Ethernet applications and services. Questions:

1. What do you see as the future of FC in the context of the Ethernet threat?

2. Do you believe FCoE will convince IT professionals and CIOs to continue to rely on FibreChannel?

3. Please explain FC's ability to adapt to the increasing cloud computing universe. Can FC and FCoE adapt well to a universe where most apps and storage may migrate to a cloud computing platform?

4. Do you see FC able to continue growing over the next four years?

Update: some initial feedback indicates that FC is indeed viable, but FC drives may not be cost-effective for most businesses. Reasons given were 1) cheaper alternatives such as "load-balancing" and "distributed storage"; and 2) while FC scales as well as other storage technologies, it costs more and requires more specialized equipment for little benefit. Any further thoughts would be appreciated.

1 comment:

Azhar said...

I'm not the most qualified to answer these questions authoritatively but the following link gives a good idea about the competing technologies.