Its not really about FCoE VS iSCSI

 To me, its about FCoE, period.  My guess is that Jerome Wendt feels the same way. Here's a quote from his post today:

So to avert this, my guess is that the FC vendors concocted a plan: Use
FCoE to connect all enterprise servers, get a few analysts on board to
endorse the idea and then convince end-users to take their eyes off the
longer term ramifications of using FCoE. By getting enterprise users to
bite on FCoE and spend the next few years connecting their remaining
85% of their servers to  existing FC SANs, users are locked into FC for
the next 10 years until the next disruptive technology comes along.

Now, I don't necessarily agree with everything Jerome says in his article, but I do think that FCoE is more vendor driven, than market driven.  Yes, there are certainly customers that want FC to live on because they have invested in it.  Its a royal pain to realize your architecture is hitting the wall.  Jerome likes InfiniBand a lot.  I might like it more if there was more of a critical mass to support it.  If I was concerned about FC becoming and-of-life, I probably wouldn't jump to the next dead end.

Dante Malagrino from Cisco says he thinks it is about Data Center Ethernet in this post.   I suppose it is entirely possible that I agree with him but am too bullheaded to realize it.  I have always thought it was about Ethernet and making storage as manageable and efficient as possible over Ethernet.  I just don't buy the "we need something better than iSCSI" argument.  Its not like there are so many wonderful iSCSI implementations out there.  EqualLogic was able to break through a crowded industry mostly because existing vendors were "dogging it" with iSCSI.  Why would they willfully undermine their FC gracy train product lines?  Not until a threat emerged anyway.  FCoE is a great way for them to change the game. 

I've been wrong before and (maybe) I'll be wrong again.  Maybe Matt Baker has it right.  I'll probably stay stubborn until I see the reality of FCoE, then I will either have to eat a pile of crow or I'll continue to hold the line.  That said, I doubt my opinion on the matter will ever change for SMB customers.  FCoE will be overkill for them.

About the Author: Marc Farley