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Fibre Channel Industry Association Announces Development of Industry's Fastest Storage Networking

Gen 6 Fibre Channel Provides Speeds of up to 128GFC, New Features to Address Hyper-Scale Virtualization; SSD storage and New Data Center Architectures

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) today announced Gen 6 Fibre Channel, representing the industry's fastest industry standard networking protocol that enables storage area networks (SANs) of up to 128GFC and includes a variety of features that further improve network reliability, energy efficiency, and operational simplicity.

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Gen 6 Fibre Channel is the next generation of Fibre Channel designed to address performance, reliability, and scalability requirements for hyper-scale virtualization, SSD storage technology, and new data center architectures. Solutions are expected to broadly available in 2016.

"Businesses continue to invest in Fibre Channel to power their most mission- and business-critical environment, said Ashish Nadkarni, research director, Storage Systems and Software, IDC. "The continued evolution of the Fibre Channel standard is important for supporting the huge global installed base, which continues to grow at a steady pace. With the development of Gen 6 Fibre Channel, enterprises should feel confident that their Fibre Channel investments are secure and that continued innovation from the vendor community will further optimize performance, security, reliability and operational simplicity to better optimize both flash and traditional storage infrastructures."

Gen 6 doubles the 16GFC data throughput of 3,200 megabytes-per-second (MBps) to 32GFC, which enables 6,400 MBps full-duplex speeds. Gen 6 also provides an option to quadruple 32 GFC to 128GFC throughput, thereby achieving full-duplex speeds of 25,600 MBps, based upon the seamless inter- and backward-compatibility of Fibre Channel technology.

"Continued innovation for the Fibre Channel standard is designed to extend its position as industry's most reliable and robust storage networking solution, which is used for today's most mission-critical enterprise applications," said Skip Jones, FCIA Chairman. "Enterprises and Service Providers can look forward to new innovations from the community of compute, network and storage vendors that will develop next-generation solutions in 2016 based on the Gen 6 standard in order to leverage its advanced feature set."

At 32GFC, Gen 6 Fibre Channel doubles the data throughput of the current 16GFC Fibre Channel standard. In addition to faster speeds, key features of Gen 6 Fibre Channel include:

  • Forward Error Correction (FEC): Improves the reliability of links through the automatic detection and recovery from bit errors that occur in high speed networks. FEC helps minimize or avoid data stream errors that can lead to application performance degradation or outages.
  • Energy Efficiency: Lower energy consumption is achieved by allowing the Fibre Channel optical connectors to operate in a stand-by mode (or "nap") multiple times each second.
  • Backward Compatibility: 128GFC and 32GFC Fibre Channel supports complete and total backward compatibility to 16GFC and 8GFC networks.  Ensuring complete investment protection, Gen 6 automatically configures to the fastest supported speed between any two network points, and requiring zero user intervention.

Supporting Quotes

"Fibre Channel's forward and backward compatibility over the last several generations has been a hallmark of the technology that continues in the Gen 6 standard. This has been achieved by talented people working together taking advantage of technological advancements, both in the protocol and interconnect fields. Because of this Amphenol is able to continue to supply Fibre Channel customers cost effective interconnect solutions".

Greg McSorley, Technical Business Manager, Amphenol Corp.

"Gen 6 Fibre Channel will deliver performance and robustness to significantly propel our customers' SANs into a new age of advanced capabilities. We are developing new solutions based on 128GFC and 32GFC and look forward to bringing these to market in 2016."

Jack Rondoni, Vice President, Data Center Storage and Solutions, Brocade

"Business success increasingly depends on the real time delivery of massive throughput applications to both internal and external customers. We continue to design and deploy connectivity solutions that help our customers optimize their data center investments today while preparing them for seamless adoption of next-generation technologies developed to handle data rates Gen 6 protocol will enable of up to 128 GFC."

Kevin Ehringer, CEO and Founder, Data Center Systems

"Gen 6 Fibre Channel solutions will go beyond a boost in bandwidth, to new features that increase scalability for cloud workloads, improve network reliability and that are optimized for flash/SSD. Gen 6 FC solutions will also offer operational simplicity, with backward compatibility spanning more than a decade, given the ecosystems' commitment to maintaining compatibility to current switch and storage investments. We are currently working on building a new class of Gen 6 FC solutions as part of our strategic roadmap, and are committed to the long term future of Fibre Channel."

Shaun Walsh, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development, Emulex.

"The storage industry is responding to a dramatic shift in customer requirements, from mission critical tier 1 features for all flash arrays to those same tier 1 features at midrange price points. The performance, reliability and scalability of Gen 6 Fibre Channel are well aligned with HP's efforts to address both of these customer desires with a single, polymorphic array design that provides unbeatable simplicity and investment protection."

Craig Nunes, Vice President of Marketing, Storage, HP

"Fibre Channel has long been the most reliable, secure, scalable and efficient storage networking protocol for enterprise computing. The performance and features of the Gen 6 standard ensure QLogic customers will continue relying on Fibre Channel to meet their future requirements for hyper-scale virtualization, solid-state storage technologies and new data center architectures."

Vikram Karvat, Vice President of Marketing, QLogic

"High throughput and low latency make SSDs a natural fit in high-end SANs. Gen 6 Fibre Channel, with a data rate of up to 128 GFC and ultra-low latency, is a perfect complement for high performance SSDs in mission critical applications."

Paul Wassenberg, Chair, SNIA Solid State Storage Initiative

About FCIA

The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) is a non-profit international organization whose sole purpose is to act as the independent technology and marketing voice of the Fibre Channel industry. We are committed to helping member organizations promote and position Fibre Channel, and to providing a focal point for Fibre Channel information, standards advocacy, and education.

FCIA members include manufacturers, system integrators, developers, vendors, industry professionals, and end users. Our member-led working groups and committees focus on creating and championing the Fibre Channel technology roadmaps, targeting applications that include data storage, video, networking, and storage area network (SAN) management. For more info, go to http://www.fibrechannel.org

Media Contact:
Emory Epperson on behalf of FCIA
[email protected], 408-333-7373

Organization Contact:
Michael Majdalany, FCIA Executive Director
[email protected]

SOURCE The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA)

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