Storage Networks

Innovation in Fibre Channel is its Best Competitive Differentiator

by Tim Lustig on ‎11-12-2015 02:29 PM (4,940 Views)

Recently, there has been a lot of discussion about the demise of Fibre Channel. Hyper-converged storage, server SAN and software-defined storage (SDS) are all emerging storage technologies that offer alternative solutions. These are also where many of the disparaging Fibre Channel remarks emerge from. Of course, they are going to tout their technology as being ‘all things, to everyone’ and superior to the incumbent. The truth of the matter is that there are certain use cases and circumstances for most technologies.

 

With all these solutions, do you ever wonder why Fibre Channel still reigns supreme and dominates the market? I would have to say ‘innovation.’ Innovation has and will continue to drive the storage market. And Fibre Channel has proven to be flexible and adaptive to the storage market, technology shifts and customer demands.

 

Technical innovation requires a cross functional team with a range of people representing a wide variety of skills and talents. Last year, Brocade entered into a strategic partnership, with QLogic. The objective of this partnership was to accelerate development and innovation of Fibre Channel solutions and bring new features to market between generational releases, with a goal of continually improving on the technology. Since the inception last year, both companies have been co-developing a set of advanced features designed to streamline and reduce time for provisioning, increase the reliability of data transfers and adding resiliency and improved management visibility. These features are just coming to market and bringing with them innovation that further extends Fibre Channel as the best protocol for storage by increasing its management simplicity and operational stability.

 

The below graphic summarizes the advanced features and the four areas of improvement they address.

Brocade and QLogic E2E Advanced Features

 

To learn more about the strategic relationship and how QLogic leverages these advanced features to implement StorFusion, I encourage you to read QLogic's Chris Lorenz blog, or for a closer, in-depth look at StorFusion capabilities, Todd Owens has provided an additional blog.

 

To help spread the message about these new features and the benefits you can achieve with them, QLogic and Brocade are hosting a one-hour joint webinar, “Get Smarter SAN Management from QLogic and Brocade,” on November 19 at 11:30 a.m. EST / 8:30 a.m. PST. Follow this link to learn more about the webinar, register to attend or view the webinar archive.

 

In summary, the predictions of Fibre Channel’s demise fails to take into account the innovations that continue to occur within the protocol. Designed and built from the ground up as the purpose built networking solution for storage, Fibre channel continues to be a game changer with new technological innovations that address emerging trends. To this fact, we see Fibre Channel leading the attach rate of two of the hottest technology trends today, SSD and Virtualization. And with these new features, Fibre Channel gets an additional edge against the competition. Still don’t believe me? You don’t need to take my word for it. I encourage you to read Carol Sliwa’s Tech Target article titled, “Fibre Channel Storage Alive and Kicking”.