Intel opens Fibre Channel over Ethernet

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) is here now - at last that's according to Intel, which has thrown its weight behind and released code for a new FCoE initiative.Called Open FcoE, the plan is to allow all Fibre Channel signals to traverse a single network, using a single adapter -- that'll be one of Intel's of course, specifically the X520.

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) is here now - at last that's according to Intel, which has thrown its weight behind and released code for a new FCoE initiative.

Called Open FcoE, the plan is to allow all Fibre Channel signals to traverse a single network, using a single adapter -- that'll be one of Intel's of course, specifically the X520. In other words, you can dispense with multiple network fabrics and standardise on 10 Gigabit Ethernet.

The selling point is that it will reduce the number of adapters and switches, thus saving power, and both capital and operational expenditure. Specifically, Intel estimates the initiative could cut infrastructure costs by 29 percent, power by nearly 50 percent and cable costs by 80 percent. The cut in spending could amount to £1.9 billion annually, while the amount of cabling reduced could be 122,000 kilometres - which is equivalent to three times round the equator.

Intel claims it's been working with Cisco, Dell, EMC, NetApp, Oracle and Red Hat on the scheme, which is open source. Time will tell if take-up will be as good as Intel hopes, but a single network for all traffic has undoubted benefits -- although it's bound also to throw up its own problems, about which Intel has not been quite so forthcoming.