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Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)

Cisco MDS 9700 Directors now support 40-Gigabit Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) along with Cisco Nexus Switches, raising the bar of converged storage networking.

Consolidate, Scale, and Save

A classic data center design features a dedicated Ethernet LAN and a separate, dedicated Fibre Channel (FC) SAN. With FCoE, it is possible to run a single, converged network. As a standards-based protocol that allows Fibre Channel frames to be carried over Ethernet links, FCoE obviates the need to run separate LAN and SAN networks.

FCoE allows an evolutionary approach to I/O consolidation by preserving all Fibre Channel constructs, maintaining the latency, security, and traffic management attributes of Fibre Channel while preserving investments in Fibre Channel tools, training, and SANs. Based on lossless, reliable Ethernet, FCoE networks combine LAN and multiple storage protocols on a converged network.

FCoE also drastically reduces the number of I/O adapters, cables, and switches in the data center, when deployed as an access layer convergence solution. The recent introduction of FCoE support with 10GBASE-T technology allows data centers to have flexible physical cabling while supporting any protocol at much lower costs.

Now, multihop FCoE technology can be used to extend convergence beyond the access layer. The higher, more efficient speeds, such as 40 Gigabit Ethernet FCoE today, or the 100 Gigabit Ethernet FCoE in the future, help enable fewer and higher-speed Inter-Switch Links (ISLs) in the network core. The converged architecture means you can wire once and deploy anywhere to support any storage protocol, including iSCSI or NFS. This consolidated infrastructure also helps to simplify management and significantly reduce total cost of ownership (TCO).

FCoE is one of the core components of the Cisco Unified Data Center, which helps enable multiprotocol networking through Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), Cisco Nexus platforms, and Cisco MDS platforms.

Improve Agility, Simplify Management, and Reduce Costs

  • Operate high-performance SANs with efficient and higher-speed ISLs
  • Support any traffic type with wire-once agility
  • Reduce the number of adapters, cables, and network devices, and cut power costs
  • Simplify management with reduced footprint and lower TCO
  • Preserve investments in existing FC SANs

Read case studies to learn how companies benefit from FCoE.

Aerospace Manufacturer Converges Network

Boeing Defense, Space, and Security Division relies on Cisco to deliver both FCoE and IP over a single, cost-effective infrastructure to:

  • Improve performance 20 percent by transitioning to converged network
  • Reduce deployment times for each new server by 25 percent
  • Boost IP performance by up to 30 percent, saving 35 percent in capital expenses and reducing power costs by 90 percent

Read Case Study

GE Division Boosts Application Performance

Cisco Nexus switches with unified fabric help GE Money Bank boost application availability and:

  • Improve network port provisioning and overall uptime
  • Enhance disaster recovery capabilities with dynamic workload movement
  • Reduce total switches from 10 to four, reducing power by up to 45 percent

Read Case Study

Systems Integrator Supports Cloud Services

ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation implements end-to-end FCoE fabric to support next-generation cloud services and:

  • Delivers services from one architecture with a single team
  • Gains agility to tailor cloud services and resources specifically to multiple customers
  • Enhances power and scalability to support any customer application


More Resources