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FCoE, FibreChannel, Ethernet, Eagles, and Parrots

March 27, 2008 - 2 Comments

I had a discussion with some folks today who told me that customers wondered what Cisco’s position on FibreChannel was. One of our FC competitors was telling them that we are ‘getting rid of’ the Cisco MDS 9500 Storage Director in favor of the Nexus 7000, etc. I am reminded again of another of my favorite Winston Churchill quotes (yes, am a fan and have a book of them)“When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber”(Sir WInston Churchill)I guess it’s time to ‘chirp up’ and silence the jabber.FibreChannel is here to stay. I joked a little in my last entry about some of the things that existed in 1998. I can guarantee 10 years from now FibreChannel will still exist, and still be deployed actively in our customers networks. It’s a good protocol, it works, it works well, and it will continue to solve some network problems that even by that time I do not think Ethernet and FCoE will have evolved to deliver.Additionally, newsflash for some companies here, customers that I have talked to really don’t like changing their network equipment out every 2-3 years, most like equipment that ‘has legs’. (longer ones than a parrot does btw)FCoE will happen. Of this I am certain. But I also believe that the pragmatic adoption path of FCoE will be first on the host, then over a period of time switch to switch, and then eventually to the target. Why?1) Hosts get churned faster than Targets2) By running FCoE to the hosts more workload processing capability gets connected to the SAN. This means there is more data to protect and safeguard. This is GREAT for storage. The entire Storage market is predicated on 15-20% of the hosts connecting to the SAN. Fast-forward 3-5 years and imagine a world with 100% of the servers connected to the SAN. Pretty powerful!3) Existing SAN services that Cisco has integrated into the MDS like Storage Virtualization, Encryption of Data at Rest, and Data Migration can get applied against all the corporate data in the FC SAN.4) For Cisco customers, uniquely, this lets their existing MDS infrastructures continue to soar and interconnect with FCoE for host-access to the SAN. 5) Cisco is continuing to invest in R&D for the MDS 9500 series, delivering on a strong roadmap of innovative products that continue to lead the market in services, stability, investment protection, etc. (Will we get to 8Gb and such? Certainly, the MDS is already shipping 10Gb, if you can do 10Gb, I assure you you can do 8Gb 😉 But we felt it was also important to not require ‘yet another director’ to get there.I hope this helps clarify where we see FC and FCoE. Chirp ;)dg

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  1. Chavón, parece que Cisco te paga el sueldo, que sos? chupa-Cisco?Hay que ser realistas Cisco tiene algunas cosas buenas y muchas malas, como los productos FC.Saludos,Pepe

  2. This is very misleading…