Get ready for 10-Gb SANs
Rick Cook

Even as 2-Gb Fibre Channel continues its slow advance into the SAN market, the industry is already preparing for the next major step in performance, 10-Gb Fibre Channel.

A little over a year ago, the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) (

Requires Free Membership to View announced that its 10GFC working group had completed the basic content of its 10GFC standard. The group says it is on track to complete the specification by sometime next year. The first wave of 10GFC products will probably follow in an additional 12 to 18 months.

The 10GFC standard will support both MAN and WAN networks, which should help make long-distance SANs more attractive. Perhaps more important for more users, the basic hardware will be compatible with 10-Gb Ethernet so the two networking technologies will be cable-compatible for runs of less than 300 meters.

More information on the 10GFC specification and the working group's progress is available at the FCIA Web site at

Additional Resources:
1. Which vendors are moving toward 64-bit SAN products?
64-bit computing has been lurking on the sidelines for many years. Now, with the advent of the Intel Itanium processor -- as well as growth in demand for computing power -- 64-bit computing may be one step closer to the mainstream. Click here to find out who's leading the pack and what industry analysts have to say about this emerging technology.

2. What are the issues I should consider when planning a SAN-based backup strategy?
A backup and recovery expert suggests quite a few things in this tip, including the fact that you need tape devices with higher speed along with the speed that a SAN offers. Click here to find out why our expert suggests "Think big. Build small."

3. Why woul I want to use copper for Fibre Channel SANs?
Although it was initially designed for use with fibre optical cable, Fibre Channel works well at shorter distances over copper cable, in such installations as storage area networks. In fact, the specification lists several different kinds of copper media which can support Fibre Channel. Learn more in this tip.

4. What does Marc Farley mean when he says storage products fit into one of three areas?
Check out the transcript from our recent live expert Q&A with Marc Farley, as he describes a new way to understand & analyze any storage network product or technology. Marc elaborates on his three-category theory of wiring, storing, and filing.,289691,sid5_gci520181,00.html

Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

This was first published in November 2001

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