Greg “EtherealMind” Ferro recently “mused” that it might be a good idea to replace PCI Express (PCIe) inside servers or rack-scale infrastructure with Ethernet. But this seems to be the exact opposite of the direction the industry is headed. Rather than replacing PCIe with Ethernet, companies like Intel seem set on replacing short-range Ethernet (in rack-scale systems) with PCIe!
Last week, J Metz penned an article entitled “Thoughts on #OpenStack and Software-Defined Storage” in which he argues (rightly) that OpenStack Cinder should take storage networks into account and also (wrongly) that it should also encompass existing protocols such as “the 11 Billion ports of Fibre Channel that currently exist as part of a holistic […]
ioN gives Fusion-io a place at the ultra-performance array table. Faced with the prospect of commoditization, Fusion-io is wise to respond with software-based differentiators that leverage the unique capabilities of their ioMemory architecture. It shouldn’t annoy too many partners, either.
This old-fashioned, predictable storage I/O path was deterministic and decipherable: The server, the switch, and the array all had enough information to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
In the server space, one of the biggest shifts was the form factor of the servers: From tower to rack-mount to blades. But what makes a blade server anyway? Let’s consider this for a moment, as we watch another shift in progress.
What elements remain unresolved to make FCoE truly world-class? What should the vendors be prioritizing?
I am biased against FCoE because it’s too new to be blithely and broadly recommended for production enterprise use. That’s all. Yes, the standards are standardized and there are products extant. But that’s not enough for me.
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.
Storage protocols continue to mimic direct attached storage, with the concepts of block and file at its core. No amount of virtualization, and no new protocol, will fix this – we need a storage revolution.