Q

The future of the fibre channel and iSCSI

Fibre Channel's future is up in the air and James Geis gives his perspective in this expert response.

What's going to happen to the fibre channel, now that iSCSI and VMware (and iSCSI and Microsoft) have joined hands? Will the fibre channel become outdated?

Good question, one that I wish I had a crystal ball answer for, because the future is fuzzy. Fibre channel seems to be losing its luster: you have TCP/IP networks getting faster (GigE to the desktop); you have network infrastructures that support higher bandwidth applications (video, IPT, etc.); and you need to procure and manage an entire separate networking infrastructure (switches, directors, fibre cabling, etc) to support FC.

Fibre Channel still has a place for storage-intensive applications that you don't want to transact over the IP network, but, from what I'm told, you still have a high-bandwidth network that has a bottleneck (the host) to support storage access.

This was first published in December 2007

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