FCOE- Fiber Channel over Ethernet is a mapping of Fiber Channel frames over Ethernet networks. Several datacenters use Ethernet for TCP/IP networks, and FC for SANs. FCoE uses the fiber channel as a network protocol, running on Ethernet beside IP traffic. FCoE is not routable at the IP layer, since it functions directly above Ethernet, in contrast to iSCSI, running on top of TCP/IP.
Users connect to FCoE using Converged Network Adapters (CNAs). FCoE is used in data center SANs as it can reduce cabling, it can also be used in server virtualization applications.
Do I need it? – when buying a new SAN, iSCSI SAN offers a SAN over Ethernet along with all the features that FC SAN provided, making FCoE less compelling to buy. The only reason to choose FCoE over iSCSI SAN is when you already have installed a fiber channel SAN and you want to use this SAN, but along with same Ethernet infrastructure for both SAN and networking. Although this would be a good reason to get FCoE, the costs involved in new switches and infrastructure would keep you from choosing FCoE over iSCSI SAN.
For more information on FCoE versus iSCSI, visit StoneFly’s videos on FCoE vs iSCSI,
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