For about 2 decades, Fibre Channel has been deployed to support the most rigorous and demanding applications, and is mainly because FC possesses certain characteristics that enterprise customers embrace, i.e – reliability, performance and scalability. 16Gb Fibre Channel is one of the preferred choice for mission-critical applications that required deterministic low latency networks to connect to storage. In addition to emerging technologies like FCoE and 40 GE, enterprise customers still continue to deploy Fibre channel for mission critical applications and this trend will continue for a while, due to huge customer investment in FC infrastructure and how their IT departments are organized. According to Dell’Oro report (June, 2013), 38% of data center switch/director ports are projected to be 16 Gb FC during 2014.
In order to support this demand for 16G, you may expect more product updates and new offerings from Fibre Channel vendors. For example, EMC announced their new 16G FC storage networking connectivity that further extends EMC’s lead in the market. Customers can now take advantage and future-proof their virtual data centers by deploying complete, end-to-end 16 Gb Fibre Channel connectivity throughout the cloud. A couple of months ago Cisco announced high density 16G and FCoE platform –Cisco MDS 9700 director , which delivers superior performance—more than three times the bandwidth than any currently available SAN Director in the market.
Well, I want to be very clear, 16G is one of several choices, when you are ready for convergence then you will have a choice of platforms that will support FC, FCoE and/or iSCSI, or all three! You can future proof your storage infrastructure!!! (see figure below). Cisco MDS 9700 (only director that supports both FC and FCOE in the same platform) + EMC solution enable customers to deploy Teir 1, 16Gb storage infrastructure and scale efficiently.