FC vs FCoE

There is a blog post about a flawed study of FC vs FCoE sponsored by Brocade. Some key takeaways:

  • The technology of FCoE is relatively immature when compared to FC, so comparison of FC and FCoE yet may not be that fair.
  • A study should do end-to-end FC and end-to-end FCoE, but not just FCoE as a one hop solution. If end to end testing is not possible – for example, there is no sufficient choice of products at different hops (servers, storage, network), then that itself is a cue that technology is still catching up.

In the end, he quotes:

I’m just really, really anti-FUD. Compete on tech, compete on features, compete on value, compete on price, compete on whatever it is that makes you different. Just don’t do it in a misleading, dishonest way. Respect your customers enough to know they’ll see through blatant misrepresentations, and respect your products enough to let them compete fairly.

Another guy who is apparently used to it, says about the generic nature of these reports:

First, a little bit about these types of reports. They’re pretty standard in the industry, and they’re commissioned by one company to showcase superiority of a product or solution against one or more of their competitors. They can produce some interesting information, but most of the time it’s a case of: “Here’s our product in a best-case scenario versus other products in a mediocre-to-worst case scenario.” No company would release a test showing other products superior to theirs of course, so they’re only released when a particular company comes out on top, or (most likely) the parameters are changed until they do. As such, they’re typically taken with a grain of salt. In certain markets, such as the load balancer market, vendors will make it rain with these reports on a regular basis.

On the confusion between software and hardware FCoE initiators (which is one of the heated debates of this test report):

No matter how you slice it, it’s troubling. On one hand, if they did configure software initiators, they either ignorantly or willfully sabotaged the FCoE results. If they just didn’t understand the basic VIC concept, it means they setup a test without understand the most basic aspects of the Cisco UCS system. We’re talking 101 level stuff, too.  I suspect it’s the later, but since the only configuration of any of the devices they shared was a worthless screenshot of UCS manager, I can’t be sure.

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