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December 2011 Vol. 2, No. 6

End-to-end FCoE for network convergence won't work!

In the first part of this face-off on FCoE network convergence, Stuart Miniman discussed FCoE starting at the edge then moving into the rack. In this second part, storage and networking expert, Stephen Foskett argues that FCoE at the edge might be a step toward network convergence, but end-to-end FCoE needs a lot more engineering and isn't reliable. All last year I watched storage and networking vendors twisting and turning to convince the world they have delivered an end-to-end FCoE protocol. In fact, the products they released are largely inadequate. What’s more, they’ve never addressed the burning question: Why bother with an end-to-end strategy for network convergence when the FCoE protocol at the edge is more practical? It’s important to first note that moving enterprise storage traffic to Ethernet networks seems like a match made in hell. The SCSI protocol requires delivery of packets that are lossless and in order, but Ethernet was designed for “best effort” delivery. This won’t cut it for storage, which is a high-volume ...

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