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  Stick with Fibre Channel?

Despite the rise of iSCSI & 10GB Ethernet, some organizations should stick with Fibre Channel. Here are points you should consider when making this decision.

Arguments for FC over Ethernet Arguments against FC over Ethernet
  • Continuing to use FC management. Enterprises that have a large investment in FC can continue to use FC-based storage resource management tools while expanding the network (adding more servers with Ethernet connections).
  • Leveraging lower-cost Ethernet. A key value proposition of Ethernet-based alternatives to FC, such as iSCSI, has been that Ethernet networks are cheaper to build than FC. As 10Gbe becomes mainstream, the costs of network interface cards (NICs) and switches are quickly trending downward.
  • Network convergence & enhanced Ethernet. NICs that support 10Gbe and FCoE — called CNAs for converged network adapters — will mean a single network can carry both storage and general data traffic. This is especially valuable where high-density blade servers are used as well as server virtualization.
  • iSCSI over Ethernet, even at Gigabit speeds, is good enough for many consolidated storage tasks.
  • FCoE provides a future path for those who have invested in FC already but isn’t necessary in all cases.

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