FCoE, Will you believe the hype?

I have been hearing a lot lately about FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) and I thought I’d share some thoughts/opinions on it. From the looks of it all your big switch and HBA vendors out there are getting behind it and will support it in their devices. If you were at SNW a couple weeks ago you would have heard the FCIA spouting about it and how it will be the next best thing since sliced bread.

So here’s my take on all this. The vendors out there want you to buy new stuff and increase their short term profits for “The Street”. Bottom line is what it’s all about. My prediction is that all these vendors are going to really push FCoE down your throat. They will drop the cost of the equipment below what their new 8 Gb (maybe 16Gb by the time this gets ratified) devices will be haveso that you’ll definitely have to at least take a good look at it. This same thing happened when iSCSI came out with the FC vendors. They all dropped their prices to compete and it worked pretty successfully. The market penetration of iSCSI just isn’t there as was predicted by all the analysts. If you architect an iSCSI environment the same as a FC environment the cost differences are negligible.

So from what I have seen and hear is the vendors are really gearing up for this new FCoE push. From what I have heard, Cisco isn’t even putting FC in their new line of switches and we all know they are the 800 lb. (kilo for our metric readers ;) gorilla in this push for FCoE. Emulex and Qlogic have devices coming out as well. The only people I haven’t heard from on this are the disk vendors. I’m sure they will support whatever connectivity options the switch vendors come out with.

So what will the users do? The users truly have the power here; they have the power to tell their switch vendors what they want from them. I just don’t see the need for people to switch protocols and equipment because the vendors want them to. We’ll just have to see what the Fortune 500 companies tell the vendors about switching. Hopefully they will tell them to go fly a kite with their new protocol and stick with what is known and has been supported the longest. Or maybe one of these vendors will point out to me why everyone should be switching. I guess we’ll see....