iFCP (Internet Fibre Channel Protocol) is an emerging standard for extending Fibre Channel storage networks across the Internet. iFCP provides a means of passing data to and from Fibre Channel storage devices in a local storage area network (SAN) or on the Internet using TCP/IP. TCP provides congestion control as well as error detection and recovery services. iFCP merges existing SCSI and Fibre Channel networks into the Internet. iFCP can either replace or be used in conjunction with existing Fibre Channel protocols, such as FCIP (Fibre Channel over IP).
iFCP addresses some problems that FCIP does not. For example, FCIP is a tunneling protocol that simply encapsulates Fibre Channel data and forwards it over a TCP/IP network as an extension of the existing Fibre Channel network. However, FCIP is only equipped to work within the Fibre Channel environment, while the storage industry trend is increasingly towards the Internet-based storage area network. Because iFCP gateways can either replace or complement existing Fibre Channel fabrics, iFCP can be used to facilitate migration from a Fibre Channel SAN to an IP SAN or a hybrid network.
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