10 Gigabit Ethernet

Frosting the FCoE Cake…

by dave on November 2, 2009

Czech kind of sponge cake.
Image via Wikipedia

I was advised the other day that a certain manufacturer was adopting a rather interesting model for Fibre Channel over Ethernet CNA licensing.  Rather than simply purchasing a FCoE CNA with all the features (10GbE, iSCSI, and FCoE) turned on, they were going to adopt some sort of staggered licensing model that put each of those features as an option that you could license (and pay for) at a later date.

When I read this, the analogy that sprung to mind was one of, well, cake.  (I’m not a foodie, I just tend to think abstractly of food.) How many people go to a bakery and buy a plain cake that isn’t frosted and that has a payment plan against it?   You’re going to buy a cake that fits with the mindset of what a cake should be; that is, something that is complete and “ready to eat.”  Additionally, you’re probably not going to be interested in a plain cake where the end cost is greater than a pre-frosted cake!  Why would you buy something that required an order of magnitude more effort to get to a final, workable order?  You’d consider someone who bought into this idea as somewhat of a lunatic.

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It’s always exciting to me to see the chatter around a new standard or new “way” of doing storage. Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) has certainly had it’s share of chatter as well as the inherent criticisms from detractors. There have also been questions regarding the inevitable overlap with other technologies like iSCSI that are able to accomplish much of the same functionality without, perhaps, having to re-invent the wheel. What follows in this post is a series of responses to several questions and postings on the web on FCoE. I would like to note that my comments are mostly reductionistic and don’t represent as deep of a stream of thought as perhaps merited by the topic.  [click to continue…]