Executive Summary

The information explosion and the need for high-performance communications for server-to-storage and server-to-server networking have been the focus of much attention for this new millennium. Performance improvements in storage, processors, and workstations, along with the move to distributed architectures such as client/server, have spawned increasingly data-intensive and high-speed networking applications. The interconnect between these systems and their input/output devices demands a new level of performance in reliability, speed, and distance. Fibre Channel, a highly-reliable, one and two gigabit interconnect technology (the fastest interface on this planet) allows concurrent communications among workstations, mainframes, servers, data storage systems, and other peripherals using SCSI,IP and a wide range of other protocols to meet the needs of the data center. It provides interconnect systems for multiple topologies that can scale to a total system bandwidth on the order of a terabit per second. Fibre Channel is the premier technique for storage area networking (SAN) and has proven its ability to deliver a new level of reliability, availability, security and both scalable throughput and capacity. Switches, hubs, storage systems, storage devices, adapters, and management software are among the products that are on the market today, providing the ability to implement a total system solution. These solutions powered by Fibre Channel deliver capabilities for storage networking, cluster computing and network interconnect to meet the IT needs of organizations around the world.

Why Fibre Channel?

Fibre Channel is the solution for IT professionals who need reliable, cost-effective information storage and delivery at blazing speeds. With development started in 1988 and ANSI standard approval in 1994, Fibre Channel is the mature, safe solution for one and two gigabit communications. Today’s data explosion presents unprecedented challenges incorporating a wide range of application requirements such as database and file management, transaction processing, data warehousing, imaging, integrated audio/video, networked storage, real-time computing, collaborative projects and CAD/CAE. Fibre Channel is simply the easiest, most reliable solution for information storage and retrieval. Fibre Channel, a powerful ANSI standard, economically and practically meets the challenge with these advantages:

  • Price Performance Leadership – Fibre Channel delivers cost-effective solutions for storage and networks delivering attractive return on investment (ROI).
  • Solutions Leadership – Fibre Channel is the defacto standard for implementing Storage Area Networks (SANs) and provides versatile connectivity with scalable performance.
  • Reliable – Fibre Channel, a most reliable form of communications, provides a variety of quality of service choices and sustains an enterprise with assured information delivery.
  • Gigabit Bandwidth Now – Both 1 and 2 gigabit solutions are in place today! Solutions are backward compatible and offer customers the highest bandwidth network interface technology in the industry.
  • Multiple Topologies – Dedicated point-to-point, shared loops, and scaled switched topologies meet application requirements. This offers the customer the ability to develop a storage network with configuration choices at a range of price points, levels of scalability, and availability.
  • Multiple Protocols – Fibre Channel delivers data. SCSI, IP, VI, ESCON and other storage and networking protocols to meet the customer needs for storage connectivity, cluster computing and network interconnect.
  • Scalable – From single point-to-point gigabit links to integrated enterprises with hundreds of servers, Fibre Channel delivers unmatched performance and configuration flexibility.
  • Congestion Free – Fibre Channel’s credit-based flow control delivers data as fast as the destination buffer is able to receive it in order to meet high throughput data transfers. This facilitates applications like backup, restore, remote replication and other business continuance enabling capabilities.
  • High Efficiency – Real price performance is directly correlated to the efficiency of the technology. Fibre Channel has very little transmission overhead. Most important, the Fibre Channel protocol is specifically designed for highly efficient operation using hardware accelerated implementations.

Information management is a key competitive factor for organizations, and Fibre Channel enhances IT departments’ ability to access and protect it more efficiently.

  • High-performance storage consolidation
  • Centralized management of server and storage assets
  • Large data bases, data warehouses, and data marts
  • Storage backup systems and recovery with LAN-free and Serverless techniques
  • SAN implementations with robust storage management virtualization, hierarchical storage management (HSM), and storage resource management
  • Server clustering
  • Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Networking (SAN) integration
  • High-performance workgroups, data centers, and remote network implementations
  • Campus backbones and wide area network deployments
  • Edge networks for data replication and scalable performance ( ie. Digital audio/video networks, webserver downloads and others)