Posted February 5th, 2010 by Shaun Walsh
Today, we had the Wikibon FCoE Fact vs. Fiction Peer Insight call with a great panel of industry bloggers and the Wikibon team, including Dave Vellante, Dennis Martin, Stuart Miniman, David Graham and Nigel Poulton, as well as a virtual cast of thousands. The core question of the day was: how do we separate the hype and reality of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) for the data center today? In listening to the panel and the guest on the call, I came away with three key lessons:
- FCoE is coming to market and we better get ready. Yes, Fibre Channel will be strong for a number of years. 2010 is the year to do some pilots, and the Wikibon S-curve says 2011 and 2012 will be the point of obvious transition due to cost savings.
- Vendors have to do a better job defining the value proposition. As a vendor, we need to tone down some of the hype and provide a clear value proposition in numbers and dollars. We are going to work with Wikibon on a calculator and planning tool to make the value proposition clear.
- We need to provide a better understanding of how companies can get rid of stuff. Saving cash is not enough: make it simple by getting rid of extra gear. We need to do a better job of explaining what can go and how to transition with minimal fuss and headaches. Consolidation needs to come to networks, just like servers and storage.
I enjoyed the call, and I look forward to seeing how the market matures over the next six months. One thing is certain: we (vendors) don’t know as much as we think. The job of bringing FCoE to market is just beginning. Click here to listen to this discussion through the Wikibon audio archives.
Posted November 3rd, 2009 by Shaun Walsh
Always the technology fashionistas, QLogic has added some “bling” to its new 8Gb/s quad-port Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapter (HBA) (QLE2564) – two shiny new heat sinks. “Heat sinks?” we asked. You can only imagine our surprise! For the past 18 months, QLogic has been touting its “Cool HBA Technology.” The theory of this highly touted feature was that QLogic 8Gb/s Fibre Channel HBAs did not need a heat sink for reliable operation, but thermal images, such as those below, show that they really do:
What is most surprising about this sudden shift is that it took QLogic so long to catch up with the design best practices which Emulex and the rest of the industry have been leveraging since the beginning.
The fact remains that heat sinks are vital to achieving enterprise class reliability and are one of the best ways to cool devices in today’s high-density computing environments. As you can see in the images below, it has taken QLogic over 18 months to truly achieve its “Cool HBA Technology,” and even then, only after following Emulex’s lead.
So why is cooler better? It’s simple. Cooler operating adapters mean greater reliability – of significant importance to data center administrators, as properly cooled components have a longer operating life, better system reliability and greater Storage Area Network (SAN) availability, each critical considerations in blade server environments. The cooler operating Emulex 8Gb/s Fibre Channel I/O controller translates into 166% greater reliability when compared to QLogic’s QLE2562 HBA.
The real question QLogic customers and partners have to be asking now is “what about all those QLogic 8Gb/s cards in the field which have no heat sink?”
To learn more, check out the following:
Emulex Labs: Sometimes, Being Hot Isn’t So Cool: http://www.emulex.com/emulexlabs/?p=14
The Effects of Heat on Electronic Circuits and Devices: http://www.youtube.com/EmulexVideo#play/uploads/17/AQOaNX9C6JE