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Published: 01 Nov 2012

A new Fibre Channel (FC) standard is in the works that leverages the venerable Ethernet architecture. Products based on the standard could appear in a few years, but it's unclear whether storage managers, particularly those who are happy with their FC environments, will be interested. Last April, a collection of IT vendors (including Brocade, Cisco, EMC, Emulex, IBM, Intel, Nuova Systems, QLogic and Sun Microsystems) proposed the new Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) standard to the T11 Committee of the American National Standards Institute, which would allow SAN I/O traffic to be transported over Ethernet networks. Unlike protocols like FCIP, which encapsulates FC and sends it over a TCP socket, FCoE would map directly onto Ethernet. According to Greg Schulz, senior analyst and founder of StorageIO Group, Stillwater, MN, a key benefit of FCoE is that it could potentially "remove the overhead of TCP/IP from the equation," leveraging the underlying Ethernet-based network while supporting FC frames and upper-level protocols. To some degree, FCoE is certainly ... Access >>>

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