Shaun Walsh, vice president of marketing at Emulex (, says:

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) converges storage and network (SAN and LAN) connectivity over 10Gb/s Ethernet. By consolidating connectivity over ‘one wire’, and leveraging the speed inherent in 10Gb/s Ethernet, users have faster I/O throughput, can consolidate their data center floor space, given there is less cabling, adapters and switches, and benefit from an overall reduction in power and cooling. All of this lends to reduce capital and operational expenses, which continues to be a main priority for IT administrators today.

Global competition and rapidly changing business dynamics are leading to an increased need for agility organization-wide. As data center managers are challenged with aligning their IT infrastructure to be more agile, and better respond to market and customer demands, network convergence has been a key priority. Enter FCoE – given its ability to converge storage and SAN traffic seamlessly, with major industry bellwethers like HP, IBM, Dell, EMC, Cisco and VMware supporting FCoE, it has signaled the industry to respond. In addition to the obvious CAPEX and OPEX benefits, broad industry support will help increase adoption over the next few years.

This isn’t a ‘rip and replace’ strategy for IT managers, especially those with smaller budgets. For Fibre Channel SAN users, they can leverage the adapters and switches they already have, and simply upgrade to a FCoE-based adapter, such as our OneConnect Universal Converged Network (UCNA) adapters, which are backwards compatible and deliver maximum performance, regardless of the mix of network traffic (iSCSI, Fibre Channel, TCP/IP etc). Deploying a converged network also offers undeniable CAPEX and OPEX savings including reductions in adapters and cables by 80%, 30% in switches, adapters and rack space, and 40% reduction in power and cooling costs.

Consider network convergence as part of your 2011 IT strategy as it has gone beyond promise to product and there is an ecosystem of storage companies that support FCoE. Especially as more and more data is digital, with heavy multimedia elements, video and other content, the performance benefits of a high powered converged data center is a solution you should consider.