By Kevin Komiega
This month, Brocade began shipping a Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) blade that brings Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) and FCoE capabilities to its DCX Backbone platform. NetApp was the first major vendor to resell the blade, along with Brocade's FCoE switches and converged network adapters (CNAs).
The new Brocade FCoE 10-24 Blade features a cut-through and non-blocking architecture with 24 10Gbps ports with Ethernet, CEE and FCoE support. The blade also has hardware-based server link aggregation and up to 40Gbps frame-based trunking.
Brocade's FCoE products bridge Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks by offering both 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) and 8Gbps Fibre Channel ports within the same platform, as either a top-of-rack switch or a blade in a DCX or DCX-4S backbone.
End users have not been clamoring for FCoE gear, but interest is growing as the FCoE standard nears final approval and ratification, according to Ahmad Zamer, Brocade's senior product marketing manager for new protocol technologies.
"Interest in FCoE is far higher now than it was eight or nine months ago. Customers have real proof-of-concept projects under way. They have budgets and plans to adopt the technology, but it will take time," says Zamer.
Brocade is standing pat on its view that FCoE adoption will not ramp up until next year. Part of the reason, according to Zamer, is the lack of an official FCoE standard. The FCoE standard was finalized in June, and is now in the hands of INCITS for further processing as an ANSI standard.
"We expect FCoE deployment will be slow this year and ramp up next year," says Zamer.