The Network Matters for Cloud Infrastructure

2014-04-17 00:38:20

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to networking and cloud? It probably isn’t Fibre Channel.
As far back as 2000, a various industry experts have been predicting the death of Fibre Channel. Sometimes it has been an industry luminary like Bob Metcalfe, inventor of Ethernet, who predicted in 2005 that Fibre Channel would be “over in ten years” (I guess I have less than a year to find a new job). In 2007, it was an “IT consultant” screaming for attention for another technology like iSCSI that tried and failed to predict the demise of Fibre Channel. 
Fast forward to 2013. After years of predictions that cloud technology will take over, there is a niche (InfiniBand) vendor proclaiming that “cloud data centres are being built without Fibre Channel” .
Now, we are a nearly a quarter into 2014 and Fibre Channel is alive and well, expected by industry analysts to grow modestly for the foreseeable future. Upon further review, the industry experts were wrong in 2000, Bob Metcalfe was wrong in 2005, the iSCSI proponents were wrong in 2007, and InfiniBand is still searching for an identity…
Brocade and Rackspace announced the completion of the deployment of Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel SAN ... across its global network of data centers. Yes Rackspace, the global leader in hybrid cloud and founder of OpenStack, the open-source operating system for the cloud. In a world of seemingly infinite technology choices for cloud infrastructure, Rackspace chose Brocade Gen 5 Fibre Channel and EMC VMAX Storage to build out a reliable and simple storage infrastructure solution that would accommodate massive growth, dynamic scalability, and increasing efficiency requirements.
When we originally launched our Gen 5 Fibre Channel technology in 2011, we said the adoption of this technology would be based on the continued adoption of virtualization along with the emergence of cloud-based architectures and solid state storage. In 2014, Fibre Channel continues to be the protocol of choice for server and desktop virtualization;

Fibre Channel matters for cloud-based infrastructure and has become the de facto standard interconnect protocol for solid state storage arrays. Our predictions have proven to be more accurate than Nostradamus. Unfortunately, success in predicting technology trends hasn’t translated to success picking Powerball numbers.
Emulex’s Shaun Walsh, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development, recently posted a video blog on their view of the state of Fibre Channel. I couldn’t agree more with his sentiment that the reports of the death of Fibre Channel have been greatly exaggerated. With continued adoption and a near-term industry roadmap forGen 6 Fibre Channel and 128 Gbps speeds, the future continues to look bright for the Fibre Channel industry.