Phase: Choose Technologies that Meet Your Needs
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  Fibre Channel vs. iSCSI

For the most part, Fibre Channel is favored by large enterprises, while iSCSI is favored by newcomers.

Fibre Channel iSCSI/Ethernet

Origin and Nature

  • Legacy of the pioneer days of iSCSI IP SANs, these solutions provide scalable iSCSI-based storage that leverages lower-cost Ethernet networking.
  • Like the innovators, these too provide advanced features such as snap-shotting, replication and thin provisioning.

Origin and Nature

  • Provide only "good enough" performance and capacity for most needs – broad common denominator.
  • Cannot match the mid-range FC vendors in high-performance storage for big bandwidth transactional database storage.

Strengths

  • Mature management tools.
  • Favored for high-bandwidth storage network traffic to storage arrays.

Strengths

  • Lower network capital and training costs as it leverages existing Ethernet technology and knowledge.

Weaknesses

  • Expensive due to need for its own physical infrastructure and training.

Weaknesses

  • As an advance protocol riding atop Ethernet/TCP stack, it lacks the “lossless” resilience of a layer 1 protocol.

Current State

  • FC remains favored by larger enterprises with large transaction data storage environments.
  • Also popular where enterprise has already made a significant past investment in FC architecture and training.

Current State

  • iSCSI tends to be favored by first-time storage consolidators with more modest storage needs (it is good enough for vast majority of uses.)
  • iSCSI has also emerged as go-to platform for server virtualization in SMEs.

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