Brocade, Emulex back newly ratified 16G Fibre Channel standard

SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 – The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) yesterday announced ratification of 16-Gbps Fibre Channel specifications within ANSI’s FC-PI-5 standard. Data center equipment vendors Brocade and Emulex immediately threw their support behind the specification.

SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 – The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) yesterday announced ratification of 16-Gbps Fibre Channel specifications within ANSI’s FC-PI-5 standard. Data center equipment vendors Brocade and Emulex immediately threw their support behind the specification.

The FCIA touted several benefits that 16G Fibre Channel (16GFC) will provide:

  • About 40% faster than 10G Ethernet SANs
  • 2x faster than 8GFC
  • Improved price/performance
  • Lower power
  • Backward compatibility
  • Flexible configurability
  • 60% to 2X improved SAN IO density
  • 60% to 2X increased number of Virtual Machine IO channels per port
  • Saves PCIe slots for other uses

"Protecting investments is a key element of technology planning for both IT manufacturers and their customers, as it allows them to make better decisions about current and future technologies," said Skip Jones, FCIA chairman. "With 16GFC, Fibre Channel's future is ensured by meeting today’s and future performance demands while preserving ongoing investments that users make in the technology. 16GFC provides all the benefits of full backward compatibility to the large, rapidly growing Fibre Channel installed base and will deliver the most cost-effective, highest performance for today’s demanding SAN applications."

The new specifications, created by ANSI’s INCITS T11 Technical Committee, received almost immediate industry support. Said Doug Ingraham, vice president of data center products at Brocade, “Brocade serves as the chair of the INCITS TC T11 committee and is committed to providing standards-based technologies. With the introduction of the new 16-Gbps Fibre Channel standard, we are effectively future-proofing the data center to enable hyper-scale virtualization for emerging workloads and private storage clouds, while protecting billions of dollars in existing infrastructure investments.”

Brocade said it expects to offer the industry’s first end-to-end 16G FC product portfolio in the first half of 2011.

However, it is not alone in targeting the space.

“The ratification of the 16-Gbps Fibre Channel standard is the next step in the progression of trusted and proven Fibre Channel technology in the data center. Emulex is working closely with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and our ecosystem partners to bring this technology to market,” said Steve Daheb, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of business development, Emulex. “According to industry analysts, storage continues to grow at approximately 40 percent year-over-year. We believe 16-Gbps Fibre Channel will play a key role in the data center to enable this growth and protect current storage infrastructure investments.”

Emulex says it was the first to announce a 16GFC design win last October with IBM.

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