FCoE is a great dead end

Since coming to Dell from EqualLogic, I've been trying to figure out the lay of the land.  You know, what's the new politically correct thing to say and all that. I want to make the Inside IT blog work and I'd rather not start a bunch of problems with new co-workers. But, I've been a bit soft lately as a result and that's not good.

So, here's what I think about FCoE.  Its about as stupid as a technology could be. Vendors making it just want to generate higher margins with a new technology.  They want you to think its going to be better than the alternatives because they will be able to charge more for it. That's how it is with all new technologies.  The discussions about network performance are hogwash. There will be more expensive surprises and more technical frustrations than native Fibre Channel has had.  How big is your budget for FCoE professional services?  Better start saving for it now.

Furthermore, I don't believe the convergence arguments for FCoE are valid. Do storage administrators really think merging storage and data networks is a good idea? Even for iSCSI networks, I believe the best practice is to keep storage and data networks separate.  They are both mission critical and putting them together only increases the likelihood that problems with one will negatively impact the other. 

If you already have Fibre Channel you have to check it out as a professional responsibility, but my recommendation is to be skeptical until FCoE shows proven bottom line benefits.

About the Author: Marc Farley