Has FCoE entered the trough of disillusionment?

September 17, 2010 – 12:56 am

This is part of an ongoing series of short industry trends and perspectives blog posts briefs based on what I am seeing and hearing in my conversations with IT professionals on a global basis.

These short posts compliment other longer posts along with traditional industry trends and perspective white papers, research reports, videos, podcasts, webcasts as well as solution brief content found a www.storageio.com/reports and www.storageio.com/articles.

Has FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) entered the trough of disillusionment?

IMHO Yes and that is not a bad thing if you like FCoE (which I do among other technologies).

The reason I think that it is good that FCoE is in or entering the trough is not that I do not believe in FCoE. Instead, the reason is that most if not all technologies that are more than a passing fad often go through a hype and early adopter phase before taking a breather prior to broader longer term adoption.

Sure there are FCoE solutions available including switches, CNAs and even storage systems from various vendors. However, FCoE is still very much in its infancy and maturing.

Based on conversations with IT customer professionals (e.g those that are not vendor, vars, consultants, media or analysts) and hearing their plans, I believe that FCoE has entered the proverbial trough of disillusionment which is a good thing in that FCoE is also ramping up for deployment.

Another common question that comes up regarding FCoE as well as other IO networking interfaces, transports and protocols is if they are temporal (temporary short life span) technologies.

Perhaps in the scope that all technologies are temporary however it is their temporal timeframe that should be of interest. Given that FCoE will probably have at least a ten to fifteen year temporal timeline, I would say in technology terms it has a relative long life for supporting coexistence on the continued road to convergence which appears to be around Ethernet.

That is where I feel FCoE is at currently, taking a break from the initial hype, maturing while IT organizations begin planning for its future deployment.

I see FCoE as having a bright future coexisting with other complimentary and enabling technologies such as IO Virtualization (IOV) including PCI SIG MRIOV, Converged Networking, iSCSI, SAS and NAS among others.

Keep in mind that FCoE does not have to be seen as competitive to iSCSI or NAS as they all can coexist on a common DCB/CEE/DCE environment enabling the best of all worlds not to mention choice. FCoE along with DCB/CEE/DCE provides IT professionals with choice options (e.g. tiered I/O and networking) to align the applicable technology to the task at hand for physical or

Again, the questions pertaining to FCoE for many organizations, particularly those not going to iSCSI or NAS for all or part of their needs should be when, where and how to deploy.

This means that for those with long lead time planning and deployment cycles, now is the time to putting your strategy into place for what you will be doing over the next couple of years if not sooner.

For those interested, here is a link (may require registration) to a good conversation taking place over on IT Toolbox regarding FCoE and other related themes that may be of interest.

Here are some links to additional related material:

That is all for now, hope you find these ongoing series of current or emerging Industry Trends and Perspectives posts of interest.

Of course let me know what your thoughts and perspectives are on this and other related topics.

Ok, nuff said.

Cheers gs

Greg Schulz – Author Cloud and Virtual Data Storage Networking (CRC Press), The Green and Virtual Data Center (CRC Press) and Resilient Storage Networks (Elsevier)
twitter @storageio

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