Happily I was able to record both my presentation and The Great Debate with Stu!
Although I’m a long-time Fibre Channel user, and certainly not the sort of person who denies the capabilities of that hallowed storage protocol, is it really necessary anymore? On Thursday, October 6, I’ll be taking up the challenge and debating Stu Miniman on this very topic as part of the Interop Conference and Expo in New York. Knowing my enthusiasm for iSCSI, organizers Mike Fratto and Howard Marks made me the rebel upstart, leaving Stu to defend the tired old lady!
Let me make it perfectly clear ahead of time: I’m actually something of a defender of Fibre Channel myself! I cringe whenever the “superiority” of Ethernet is raised, but this has more to do with the high standards of typical Fibre Channel SAN implementations than any real technical quality. In other words, it’s fairly straightforward to deploy a high-performance, reliable Fibre Channel SAN and fairly difficult to do the same with Ethernet-based protocols.
That said, I see the era of Fibre Channel coming to an end. 8 Gb Fibre Channel is fairly compelling as an upgrade from 4 Gb, but the jury is out when it comes to 16 Gb or even 32 Gb off in the future. By that time, Ethernet SAN will be widely available and supported, and will likely boast 40 Gb or 100 Gb performance to boot. Who is going to adopt a 32 Gb Fibre Channel SAN when Ethernet is three times faster?
But all of this is the future. Today, 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.
I intend to record and stream our Interop debate, perhaps even real-time. Watch this blog for a recording, and follow me on twitter to see if a live stream is available. See you on Thursday!