“One size fits all” doesn’t work for Ethernet, but this proliferation of speed options sounds like trouble without automatic capability negotiation. It’s nice to have options, but the IEEE must remain focused on interoperability and rein in the interests of the various companies proposing next-generation Ethernet technologies.
The battle lines are drawn between 8 Gb Fibre Channel and 1 Gb or 10 Gb iSCSI and NFS. This is the baseline for my Interop debate. I am not arguing about the future of SAN, or even iSCSI versus NFS. Rather, I am arguing that most businesses would be best served by implementing an iSCSI SAN rather than purchasing Fibre Channel today.
iSCSI is an excellent choice in situations where Fibre Channel investment is nonexistent or badly in need of wholesale upgrade. FCoE, on the other hand, is likely to take over in high-end enterprise shops. It is relentlessly promoted by major vendors, and it seems that they will force the upgrade eventually.
It’s never been a better time to be in the market for enterprise storage products, with many excellent options available at affordable prices. But the market can be confusing for the uninitiated, with a variety of network options and capabilities. Even those of us “in the know” about enterprise storage are sometimes surprised by the offerings and companies in this space! So when Jerome Wendt from DCIG approached me to collect data for a market overview and buyer’s guide, I was excited. It was my big chance to really get to know these products!
Just how fast is 10 gigabits per second anyway? To help out, I’ve prepared another napkin-tastic infographic!
This regular series features highlights from the week. It was another big one for me, with my Network Computing writing gig starting up, the announcement of my Storage for Server Virtualization seminar series, and the finalization of Tech Field Day for February.
In PhilosophiÃ¦ Naturalis, Sir Isaac Newton defined inertia. Although he was referring to physical objects, the power of inertia affects companies, markets, and relationships in the same manner. Humans are creatures of habit, and change is challenging. When faced with a choice of continuing along the same road or branching off in a new direction, most will choose familiarity.
As I considered the possibilities of the new Apple/Intel interconnect technology known as Light Peak, an odd parallel with 10 Gb Ethernet popped into my head. Much of the confusion around Light Peak revolves around connectors, power conduction, and backward-compatibility. Then, like the Grinch, I thought of something I hadn’t before: Why use optical at all? 10 GBASE-T does just fine over twisted pair, and short interconnect distances would reduce power draw to reasonable levels. What if Light Peak was electrical rather than optical?
The buzz about Fibre Channel over Token Ring has built rapidly over the last week. Industry experts like Greg Ferro, Denton Gentry, and Joe Onisick have weighed in, and the Packet Pushers Podcast featured the news in show 12, “Get on the Ring!” Some have called out FCoTR as a foolish hoax, but the FCoTR phenomenon is not foolish. Indeed, FCoTR gives everyone in the industry the chance to reevaluate the current state of the art and has exposed real weaknesses in the Ethernet-centric future of the data center.
Unless you’re “in the know”, terms like “layer 2” can seem mysterious, making it all the more plausible when someone touts the benefits. It seems logical: “Bare-metal” communication must be better, faster, and cheaper than higher-level “everything over IP” approaches, right? But it’s not quite that simple.