One of the more amusing byproducts of the FCoE marketing push, is that Brocade has announced that they will producing FCoE switches for their customers. So, are you ready to buy a Brocade Ethernet switch ? In their report to investors, Brocade announced that “FCoE is Fibre Channel, not legacy Ethernet”(1). Aside from the breathtaking disingenuousness contained in that statement, lets focus on the fact that Brocade will be developing and selling Ethernet switches.
Now Brocade seems to be indicating these are actually FibreChannel switches and that is why they cost more. If the Cisco Nexus range is any guide, they will cost a truck load more. But these are still ETHERNET SWITCHES first, and some other function second.
Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE) is going to deliver some real benefits in your data centres with the ability to throttle traffic flows at the source i.e. at the server. This feature has been mooted amongst the IEEE for a number of years, and early attempts haven’t been completely successful. Remember 802.3u Pause/Start flow control. FCoE wants to claim this feature as their own as a way of making storage possible.
This, conveniently, seems to ignore the fact that CEE will equally enable the current Storage over IP technologies, and the one that really matters is iSCSI. (more on this another time perhaps.
But trying to sell these Ethernet features as a Fibrechannel “feature” seems like gilding the lily.
Still, I have every confidence that all those folks with millions invested in Brocade FC switches are going to buy Fancy Ethernet from Brocade. Who, of course, with their years of switching experience, are going produce a quality feature rich product.
And Cisco are going to be right there, shaking the cage and ensuring that any crumbs from this market disruption falls on their plate. And don’t forget Juniper, who could use the opportunity to make a grab for Data Centre market share.
So, are you ready to buy Ethernet switch from Brocade ? Or is it just me ?