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What is the difference between FCP, FCIP and iFCP?

What does FCP do? What is the difference between FCP, and FC over IP? Why there is FCIP and iFCP?

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FCP is the Fibre Channel Protocol, which is really another name for running SCSI commands over Fibre Channel. Storage for open systems uses SCSI commands in most cases. FCIP (FC over IP) is taking the Fibre Channel packets containing the SCSI commands and sending them over Ethernet using IP. FCIP takes the Fibre Channel packet, regardless of what is in it, and encapsulates it with TCP and IP and Ethernet. It's really a tunneling technology, such that the FC packet and addressing stays intact.

iFCP converts FC packet address to use IP addresses, and then sends the FC packet over IP and Ethernet. It then converts it back to FC with a different address based on a name server. The management of FCIP is usually done by the storage administrator, while the management of iFCP is usually done by a network guy.

See Marc Farley's answer to this question.

This was first published in June 2004

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