Flash is really fast, and performance-hungry applications must be able to access it wherever it is located. In our recent FCIA webcast “How to Expand the Power of Flash Storage with FC-NVMe,” we received great questions that you may also have on your mind. If you missed the webcast can you find a PDF of the slides and a link to the archived version here.

Moderated by Mark Jones – Broadcom; President, FCIA


  • Craig Carlson – Marvell Semiconductor; Treasurer, FCIA
  • Rupin Mohan – Hewlett Packard Enterprise; Marketing Chair, FCIA
  • David Rodgers – Teledyne LeCroy, FCIA Board Member
  • Dennis Martin – Principled Technologies

Q: Will we start seeing storage-class memory at the next evolution of Flash to take full advantage of NVMe?

  1. When we say flash, typically we mean NAND flash. Storage flash memory may not be NAND flash, it may be something else, but I think generally speaking you will see things beyond NAND flash used in NVMe-type settings.

Q: What storage vendors currently offer end-to-end FC-NVMe storage arrays?

  1. There have been announcements from other storage vendors, and there are new offerings almost every month. We would recommend that you contact your favorite storage vendor and ask them the question on whether they plan to have FC-NVMe available on a storage array. Given the momentum we’ve been seeing, you can probably expect that they will be deploying them very soon.

Q: How do you guarantee interoperability if each vendor has its own way of implementing technology?

  1. That’s the reason we develop standards. The goal of a standard is not to tell people how to implement it, but to provide a well-defined set of APIs, interfaces, protocols, what have you, so people can build their own implementations that will work with other company’s implementations as well. When you take that standard, written by the people that are going to implement it, and you can combine it with an interoperability advantage, that’s how you get to the device base.

One of the primary goals and functions of the FCIA with interoperability testing is to actually bring these people together in a safe and non-partisan environment so we can actually go through the steps and test and provide feedback.

We write a specification in the industry groups, we build to that specification, and then we write test results on how that specification is being complied. A lot of this has to do with the interoperability testing that we do in the FCIA and that the test and measurement community is supporting for those people who bring tools into their labs along the way.

  1. Will the new Fibre Channel speeds in parallel require new optics and cables?
  2. If you look at the current 128 GFC specification, we do have some cables that will do the parallel function for you. We don’t necessarily endorse a particular implementation, but they do exist. In terms of requiring new cables, that’s something we’re still looking at in the newest speeds, is whether or not the existing cable will work or if we’ll have to go to a new cable type. We try not to make people replace cables, but sometimes when you increase speeds you need to do that in order to get a reliable data transport.

During the podcast, we talked about some of information regarding interface comparisons. That’s available here.

We encourage you to visit the FCIA website often and benefit from our ongoing educational webcasts that are live on the free BrightTalk platform and can be found on FCIA’s events page here.  Please also follow us on Twitter @FCIAnews.