back to article HPE primes storage networking pipes for NVMe-oF data deluge

HPE has added Cisco 32gig Fibre Channel gear to its product range, making it ready for the bigger data access needs of NVMe over Fabrics. The upgrade on its existing 16Gbit/s gear includes a 32Gbit/s Fibre Channel (FC) director module and 32gig switch. The SN8500C director module is a 48-port, 32gig device that is actually a …

  1. Nate Amsden

    more than HPC

    The quote from the network expert seems specific to HPC, of which I think traditionally HPC hasn't used FC anyway, obviously the enterprises use it more.

    And small department SAN? Shit I think most small department SANs could get by on 4Gbps FC. I know my mix of 4/8Gbps/16Gbps(switch side only I have no 16G HBAs) still has years of capacity built into it even at 8Gbps speeds. Of course I have no fancy NVMe stuff, just regular flash storage. Even for my newest servers I have no need to go beyond 8Gbps.

  2. chrismevans

    Remember FCoE?

    I hear the same message again. Ethernet will kill FC. Yep, just like FCoE killed FC. It didn't happen. Why? Because it isn't all about the technology. It's about support, operational processes, division of teams and separation of risk. In some scenarios, Ethernet will be more appropriate, but it's not going to be a wholesale bloodbath for FC, if at all.

    1. Paul Hargreaves

      Re: Get burned?

      I thought the wholesale bloodbath had already happened.

      FC feels a bit like mainframe or tape, won't go away for the reasons you state, but isn't a growing market with new entrants looking to displace McData/Brocade/Qlogic etc.

  3. kbuggenhout

    Couldnt agree more, with fabrics going to 100 and 200 Gbps, fc is struggling to stay alive. Having a solution for NVMEoF crippled over a 32 Gbps link is not a smart idea. Some solutions work with 32 NVMe devices, with theoretical bandwith of 32 x 3 GBps. Even one NVMe flash drive saturates fc32.

    I dont see value in a fc san anymore. Even a SAS link is 4x12 Gbps these days, fc is dying a slow death

    1. KrnlPan0c

      You are comparing single lane 32G FC to quad lane 100G Ethernet. A fair compassion would be to 25Gbps Ethernet since it is also single lane.

      Fibre Channel has multi lane 64G, 128G and 256G available that is comparable to 50Gbps, 100Gbps and 200Gbps Ethernet.

      Economics will be in Ethernet's favor, not necessarily the speed roadmap. It still holds some technical advantages as a storage network that are beyond speed.

  4. techjock

    Ferro's comments about scalability and congestion management are diametrically opposed to the facts. FC protocol was designed to handle storage traffic and has storage specific capabilities built-in. Congestion can happen in a network be it FC or Ethernet, but FC products from both switch vendors have sophisticated mechanisms to detect, alert and mitigate against congestion. Ethernet proponents like to say "yeah but 100Gb/200Gb" without considering the realities of providing reliable, deterministic connections to storage.

    As for scalability, FC SANs with thousands of ports have been in use for years (and it's nice not having to manage storage and kitten videos on the same network :-)).

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