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Vol. 7 No. 3 May 2008

InfiniBand still a longshot for storage

Fibre Channel (FC) storage vendors see a need to play nice with Ethernet. That's why their vision of the next-generation data center includes a nascent FC over Ethernet (FCoE) standard as the key piece of what they consider a unified fabric. Such unification leaves little, if any, room for InfiniBand. The low-latency, high-bandwidth protocol isn't used much for storage, but has replaced Ethernet in many high-performance computing (HPC) environments. Its proponents say InfiniBand is a better fit for FC convergence than Ethernet. FC-centric storage networking vendors such as Brocade, Emulex and QLogic consider Ethernet compatibility the key to extending FC's life. So does Cisco Systems, which is primarily an Ethernet company, but competes with Brocade in the FC switching area. But InfiniBand vendors are working up their new standard, FC over InfiniBand (FCoIB). They point out that InfiniBand already supports 20Gb/sec with 40Gb/sec expected by next year, while Ethernet is at 10Gb/sec. And Ethernet won't be ready to run ...

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Features in this issue

  • Hard disk drives become more affordable

  • Legal toolkit for storage systems

    Storage managers may be reluctant to admit it, but they and the storage systems they manage are key players in most companies' compliance and legal readiness procedures. While ediscovery is the current buzzword, there's currently no all-encompassing ediscovery tool on the market. But you can assemble an effective toolkit with some of the point products that are available now.

  • Ask the Expert: NFS vs. CIFS

    What should you consider when choosing between Network File Sharing (NFS) or Common Internet File System (CIFS)?

Columns in this issue

  • Hot Spots: Just say 'Yes' to a new IT strategy

    by  Bob Laliberte

    Software will increasingly transcend the self-imposed technology barriers that have evolved in larger data center environments. The ability to create policy-based programs that not only automate processes, but empower others to help themselves, will dramatically improve efficiency.