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Vol. 7 No. 5 July 2008

FCoE: Coming to a data center near you: Hot Spots

Fibre Channel over Ethernet is speeding along the certification path, and now is the time to determine what it can do for you. By now, you've probably heard the hype surrounding Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE). Why should you care? Because FCoE has the potential to reduce data center complexity and make the world a little greener by decreasing the number of cards, cabling and network devices in the data center. In some large organizations, the ability to reduce cable bundles could have a positive impact on air flow and reduce cooling costs. The Ethernet part of the protocol isn't just any Ethernet, but a special, still-to-be-ratified Data Center Ethernet (DCE). To make Ethernet suitable for Fibre Channel transport, the 802.1Q IEEE standard is being modified to accommodate data center traffic to improve its priority traffic flow and allow it to operate in a lossless manner (no dropped packets). The goal is to deliver FC a different network protocol leveraging an Ethernet fabric, while maintaining the same or better performance...

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Features in this issue

  • Solid State: New frontier for storage

    Solid-state media is starting to show up as an option for traditional storage arrays because it offers higher performance and lower power consumption. However, there are still reliability concerns related to wear out, the slower write performance of flash cells, and issues related to array management and interoperability.

  • DLT-S4 tape drives at bargain prices

  • Here comes 8Gig Fibre Channel

    New 8Gb/sec host bus adapters (HBAs) and switch devices have started arriving. But with storage arrays incorporating the new, higher speed technology still months away, end-to-end 8Gb storage infrastructures are still in the planning stages. Storage managers can get a jump on their 8Gig configurations by upgrading switches and HBAs now, or by considering networking gear that supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

  • Server blades and storage

    by  Ellen O'Brien

    Many IT shops are moving from traditional rack-mounted servers to blade configurations in hopes of reducing power and floor space requirements in their data centers. But combining blade architectures with server virtualization can cause problems with I/O and storage systems.

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