White Paper

The Fibre Channel Rolls On

On-Board Optical Broadband Networks: The Revolution With Fiber Optics

For years, Fibre Channel has been marginalized as the industry’s focus has turned to newer technologies such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and IP-based storage networks. But Fibre Channel is very much alive and starting to grow again. The main catalyst for its continued use and relevance is the growth of cost-effective flash-based storage coupled with the availability of: 32 gigabit (Gb) Gen6 transceivers; 32 Gb Fibre Channel (GFC), 128 GFC and other technologies; and higher-capability multimode optical fiber cabling infrastructure.

For flash storage devices, the 32 Gb per second (Gb/s) line rate of Gen6 Fibre Channel is significant, as faster access and sustained read/write capability yield greatly improved transactional storage fabric throughput over previous generations of Fibre Channel.

This white paper covers current data center storage applications and technologies such as transceivers and optical fiber media that support Fibre Channel in the data center. It highlights the differences between Fibre Channel and competing technologies. The paper also discusses a roadmap for Fibre Channel (Gen 7 and beyond) in the context of future data center applications as well as the similarities and differences between the Fibre Channel and Ethernet higher speed roadmap and physical fiber cabling infrastructure needed to support both.

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