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Start Believing the Hype

I continue to read posts from those who doubt that FCoE can succeed. That it is a major conspiracy amongst Fibre Channel vendors to keep Fibre Channel alive because iSCSI is eating into their market or as a way to churn the base by forcing customers to upgrade to shiny new gear.Then there are the Fibre Channel proponents who believe no other network technology can come close to delivering the quality or perfomance that it can deliver and it is best to keep two separate networks indefinitely.The reality is probably somewhere in between.Fibre Channel succeeded when it did because no other network offered similar bandwidth nor the lossless capability that storage traffic requires. But as Fibre Channel networks continued to grow and become more strategic, the cost of maintaining two large networks was fast becoming unacceptable in these cost-conscious times.But things have changed. Ten gigabit ethernet is here and prices for both switches and adaptors have come down in price to where it is now attractive enough to deploy everywhere. Also, Ethernet continues to mature and can now deliver a lossless capability through a new set of standards-based features called Data Center Ethernet.With high-performance 10GbE switches enabled with Data Center Ethernet like the Cisco Nexus 5000, FCoE can now be realistically deployed in the server access layer with confidence that it can perform as well as Fibre Channel and still provide the benefits of a converged network that include simplified cabling, reduced hardware costs, and lower operations expenses.

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