A while ago I was in beautiful New Hampshire with a bunch of FCoE vendors.  Here had assembled a motley bunch, all into one big room with one goal:  To make FCoE work as well as possible.  A true showing of professionalism reigned, with all bad attitudes and thoughts of competition left in the lobby.  This was the time for working together so end users could have confidence that no matter what product they put into their infrastructure, it would play nice with the other vendors’ materials. 

Hosted at the University of New Hampshire’s Interop Lab near Durham, NH, a wide variety of vendors of FC, FCoE and FCoE related materials came together under the auspices of the Fibre Channel Industry Association to see how things played together.   And as the show wrapped up, the results for Intel adapters were pretty good.  We were able to complete most of our testing without issues on our end, both hardware and software.  I’m not going to name names on who was at the show, that’s up to each vendor to decide, but there were at least a dozen companies present.  Some brought one representative and one piece of equipment, some brought more.  One brought a dozen pieces of equipment and two people, one company brought six people.   Enough of the ‘who’ and the ‘why’, let’s talk ‘what’.

A typical test run environment would include a target vendor, a switch vendor and an initiator vendor.  The test itself would consist of trying to run five minutes in each of the test modes:  read mode, write mode and mix mode.  The test would exercise the discovery code (Can the target see the initiator’s request?), runtime code, and then recovery.  The recovery test validated the case where, if link went away, could it come back and do traffic again?   The testing itself sounds pretty easy on the surface, but in practice the logistics are what makes it difficult.  The cabling alone can trip up the whole event. 

Intel goes to shows like this fairly often, with this being our third visit to Durham for FCoE alone.  And until FCoE becomes as ubiquitous as Ethernet in general, we’ll keep coming to the event to make sure we’ve done all we can to make sure our products are as interoperable as possible. One day it will be just a checkbox when you make your purchase of Intel® Ethernet-based FCoE solutions.

Review!

1)      Intel tests with a variety of cutting edge technologies and partners as part of our commitment to quality.

2)      This level of testing helps you know your Intel® Ethernet will work with other FCoE vendors.

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