October 12, 2005 London, UK -- A recent demonstration at Brocade's UK test laboratory connected that company's Silkworm 4100 switches with 4G Fibre Channel interfaces over a Transmode WDM system using 40 km, 4 Gbit/sec SFP pluggable optics. The companies say the testing proved the viability of the platform, and is understood to be the first interoperability test to use native 4G Fibre Channel directly over a WDM wavelength using 4G SFP WDM pluggable optics, in addition to widely available short reach client side 4G Fibre Channel SFPs.
"This is a significant milestone for the ever increasing deployments of 4G Fibre Channel solutions," contends Paul Griffiths, technical marketing manager at Brocade. "4G Fibre Channel has significant advantages over both 2G and 10G Fibre Channel, but the lack of WDM solutions has previously limited deployments. The success of this demonstration shows we can start to extend these deployments with native 4G Fibre Channel over WDM."
According to the companies, a number of recent analyst reports have highlighted the rapid growth of 4G Fibre Channel deployments, with port sales rising from approximately 1 in 50 in 2004, to 1 in 3 in 2005, and 2 in 3 in 2006-2007. The companies say this growth is generated by 4G Fibre Channel port costs that are only a small premium over 2G Fibre Channel - representing a significant improvement in cost per bit. In addition, according to the companies, 4G Fibre Channel achieves lower restrictions than 10G Fibre channel in terms of credit buffer requirements and the corresponding throughput/distance performance and lower cost optical transport, when compared to multiplexed 10G solutions.
"Transmode's strengths in plug and play WDM solutions is further enhanced by this demonstration," concludes Dirk Lutz, director of business development at Transmode. "Storage Area Networking for both enterprises and service providers is a rapidly growing market and contributes considerably to our overall sales. At Transmode we are committed to continuing our tradition of pioneering research and development and are pleased to be able to demonstrate a new technology that will bring great advantages to the SAN extension market."