It’s time to start writing the obit for Fibre Channel networking. The pace of innovation in FC is slowing, while other technologies are rushing forward. And it no longer makes sense to use a dedicated technology for storage networking. Instead, data centers need to move the future: unified networking based on 10Gb Ethernet (10GbE) networks.
Let’s consider the issues and costs with Fibre Channel. When Fibre Channel hit the scene in a big way in the 1990s, it had great promise. But it also came with a lot of baggage. To name a few issues: It was costly to buy and difficult to implement, and it required organizations to hire or cultivate experts in the technology. These obstacles led to a lower rate of investment in Fibre Channel.
Today, with the rise of unified networking, vendor investments are shifting away from Fibre Channel and toward protocols that run on 10GbE networks. We have now reached the point where the level of investment in Ethernet dwarfs that of Fibre Channel.
So all of this begs a question: Why would you deploy, or continue to invest in, a technology with a declining level of investment and a declining ecosystem to drive it forward? You might do better to take your money to Vegas, lay it on the table, and hope for the best.
It’s clear that the future lies in unified networking based on 10GbE. So let’s get on with it and pay our last respects to Fibre Channel, say a few nice words about how it served us well in its time, and then send it on to the other side.