When will we see FCoE?

Continuing on my Fibre Channel over Ethernet musings . . .

I don't think we'll see any appreciable adoption of FCoE in the end-user community until at least 2010. Products, or at least prototypes, exist today from vendors such as Emulex, QLogic, and Cisco, and each of those vendors has promised to provide me with FCoE customer contacts within the next month or two. If that happens, InfoStor will certainly report on it, but don't hold your breath.

TheInfoPro research firm recently concluded a survey of Fortune 1000 storage managers that included some questions about FCoE adoption. Almost three-fourths (73%) of the respondents did not have FCoE in their plans (vs. 84% six months ago), 21% had it in their long-term plans, and 2% in their near-term plans. About 1% said they had FCoE products in pilot and/or evaluation stages, and another 4% said they were currently using FCoE (although I find that hard to believe).

One thing that might stall adoption is somewhat political, or territorial, in nature: Who would be in charge of the FCoE infrastructure -- the storage or network professionals? FCoE is Fibre Channel, but it's also Ethernet.

On a somewhat related note: Which vendors will succeed in the FCoE market? Those of us in the storage biz might assume it will be the vendors with a lot of Fibre Channel expertise, such as Brocade, Emulex, QLogic, etc. in the area of FCoE-based converged network adapters (CNAs). However, I'm told that there are dozens of other vendors -- including existing NIC vendors and start-ups -- gearing up to enter the CNA space. The same question would apply to FCoE-enabled switches.

This could be an interesting battle brewing.

For more information on FCoE, see:

Q&A: Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)

And for the Fibre Channel Industry Association's view, see:

FCIA makes the case for FCoE


posted by: Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson, Editor-in-Chief
by Dave Simpson

Dave Simpson has been the Editor-in-Chief of InfoStor since its inception in 1997. He previously held editorial positions at publications such as Datamation, Systems Integration, and Digital News and Review. He can be contacted at dsimpson@quinstreet.com

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