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16Gb Fibre Channel Eases Data Center Traffic Jams

Storage networking vendors announced 16Gb Fibre Channel adapters and switches as early as 2011. Since then, data center managers with I/O-intensive workloads have been future-proofing their SANs in anticipation of 16Gb Fibre Channel HDD, SSD, and tape storage systems.

That time has finally arrived. 16Gb Fibre Channel storage systems are now generally available from all leading storage vendors. The Fibre Channel storage which is trusted in the data center for its reliability and performance is now twice as fast.

Storage architects should rest assured their investment in 16Gb Fibre Channel has a safe future. The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) has announced the next generation of faster 32Gb technology is expected to arrive in 2015.

At the 16Gb inflection point, there are many new enhancements to Fibre Channel other than faster speed. To help you learn more about how the new technology can help your business, the FCIA has created a Knowledge Vault, which is full of useful content such as a video from Rackspace on the importance of Fibre Channel to achieve data availability and scalability. Take a moment to browse this trove of information that will help you deliver greater business value though your IT infrastructure.

You’ll also find an Industry Brief with examples of Killer Apps for Fibre Channel including the following two:

All Flash Arrays Move the Bottleneck Back to the Server or Network

A single tray of 30 HDDs, with each drive rated at 150 IOPS, can muster only 6,000 IOPS. That’s why entire racks of disk drives are needed to support enterprise applications. It also explains why 4Gb Fibre Channel is sufficient for most applications — the aggregate throughput of dozens of HDDs won’t use the capacity of a 4Gb Fibre Channel link.

Flash memory and SSDs have changed that. A single tray with 2TB of flash memory can handle 1 million IOPS, over 150x the IOPS capacity of an HDD storage array in the same form-factor. End-to-end 16Gb Fibre Channel links are essential components for storage architects who want their server farms to realize the full potential of their all flash arrays. There’s more on this topic in the Knowledge Vault in an industry brief titled “Why Fibre Channels Fabrics to Support Flash Storage?”

Millions of People Accessing Hundred-Terabyte Databases is a Formula for 16Gb

IT professionals in many sectors of the Healthcare, Banking, Retail, Travel, Entertainment, and Insurance industries share one thing in common: the need to provide fast response times to millions of users hitting massive databases (data warehouses) stored in SANs.

In these industries, the need for 16Gb Fibre Channel is exploding as a completely new class of data, such as user location, is being captured from mobile devices. The Internet of Everything, including wearable devices, will create yet another explosion of new data.

The architecture being deployed most to ensure fast response times to millions of users is centered on large enterprise servers loaded with Fibre Channel adapters. With double the I/O capacity of the previous generation of 8Gb high performance SANs, the availability of 16Gb storage now provides data warehousing storage specialists the head room they need in the future.

According to a recent IT Brand Pulse survey, 21% of installed Fibre Channel SAN ports are at 1Gb or 2Gb, 31% are at 4Gb and 31% are at 8Gb. With 16Gb Fibre Channel, the connections between disk storage systems for replication, and between disk storage systems and tape libraries for backup, will be up to 16 times faster. For business, that means the replication and backup windows of vulnerability and disruption will be up to 16 times shorter.

For an unabridged version of this Industry Brief complete with additional content on Fibre Channel applications and diagrams, please visit the interactive FCIA Knowledge Vault.

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