The world of Twitter has been debating the merits of Fibre Channel over Ethernet again. It seems that I’m one of only a few that sees little point in moving to FCoE. The only positive I see mooted for FCoE is the ability to put traffic over a single Host Bus Adaptor or Network Interface Card (in this case a converged network adaptor, CNA) and therefore save some capital cost. However, here’s a few pointers against:
- FCoE needs new switches
- FCoE needs new HBA adaptors
- FCoE operates at 10Gb/s – do all your servers need this performance?
- FCoE requires changes to the IP standards to implement; to handle congestion
- FCoE will require additional thinking and planning to bring two different network architectures together
- FCoE will require bringing together two different operating teams
- How will FCoE handle traffic prioritisation?
- FCoE will add additional complications to change control; data network changes will be even more impactful
- FCoE will require additional training and consultants’ cost (difficult for me to include this one)
Here’s another thought; if converged network adaptors were such a good idea, then why didn’t IP over Fibre Channel take off?
FCoE is a Cisco strategy to own the data centre, nothing else. As the recession bites, it would be a brave soul who could justify the disruption and additional spend, for very little gain.