back to article Dell and pals mash parts together, squeeze out first 16Gb FC stack

Dell's Compellent unit has worked with Brocade, Emulex and QLogic to offer the first end-to-end 16Gbit/s Fibre Channel storage networking setup, speeding access to SAN data. This is a good win for Brocade, especially as Dell has its own Force 10 networking competency, but that is for Ethernet, not Fibre Channel (FC). It's also …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 16Gb Fibre Channel Dilemma

    Most of the major vendors of FC storage use embedded Tachyon QE8 8Gb FC protocol chips from PMC Sierra in their front-end adapters. But PMC Sierra has stopped the further development of FC protocol chips because of diminishing marginal returns, see .

    Therefore the major storage vendors must switch the FC protocol chip source und change the firmware appropriately. I think that Emulex is in the best position as coming FC protocol chip supplier. An example from the past : 3PAR has used the Emulex "Arnold" chip in their 4-port 4Gb FC adapters.

    Storage vendors like Dell Compellent which are using "normal" PCI Express FC HBAs have a clear time-to-market advantage for 16 Gb FC, they need only new target mode drivers. All in all we see a slow transition to 16Gb FC resulting from PMC Sierra`s policy.

  2. M. B.


    ...not SC800. The next generation Storage Center controllers are SC8000's.

  3. Nate Amsden Silver badge

    first stack?

    can hardly call it first if it's still upwards of 6 months away from being available to customers.

    in any case it shouldn't be a big deal, 16Gbps is more useful for switch cross connects and stuff, unless your incredibly port constrained on your storage - something Compellent is not. Loading up on 16Gbps ports on the storage isn't going to do a whole lot since the back end isn't going to be able to push all that much (and most workloads will only use a tiny fraction of it).

    I'd be curious how may ports are on an adapter - myself I'd rather take say a 2 or 4-port 8Gbps adapter than a 1 or 2-port 16Gbps card. But I suppose it's nice to have options.

    Most likely anyone using such a system is going to be running MPIO which means you'll be shifting your bits over multiple FC connections any ways.

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