Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) is an important technology for linking Fibre Channel storage area networks (SAN). FCIP and iSCSI are complementary solutions for enabling company wide access to storage. FCIP transparently interconnects Fibre Channel (FC) SAN islands over IP networks, while iSCSI allows IP-connected hosts to access iSCSI or FC-connected storage.
iSCSI and FCIP are typically used for different purposes. With iSCSI, SCSI commands and data frames are encapsulated in IP to support I/O disk access over an IP network. With FCIP, Fibre Channel frames are encapsulated in IP so that both SCSI and non-SCSI frames can be transported over an IP network.
The combination of FCIP and iSCSI allows enterprises to:
- Interconnect SAN islands
- Provide applications including remote backup and replication, in addition to performing Fibre Channel I/O communication