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Fibre Channel advantages

I have a Sun Enterprise 4500 with one I/O board and two other boards. Each of the two other boards has a SCSI interface where a cable is connected to a SCSIULTRA disk pack containing 6x18GB. What is the advantage of employing Fibre Channel technology and what hardware implications are involved?

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Fibre Channel offers a number of advantages over traditional SCSI:

  • Cable distance (30M vs. 10 KM)
  • Number of devices (16 vs. 16 million)
  • Easily share devices between multiple servers

Those are the big ones. You'll need to evaluate whether or not those advantages offer any help to you. If they don't, then you don't need Fibre Channel. In your environment, Fibre Channel would involve one of the two following choices:

A: Throw out all your SCSI stuff and buy Fibre Channel HBAs, Fibre Channel disks and Fibre Channel cables.

B: Keep your SCSI disks and put a Fibre Channel router between your server and the disk and buy Fibre Channel HBAs.

Both cost money. You just need to decide if either option offers any value to you.

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This was first published in May 2002

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