New Fibre Channel standard offers boost to 32Gbps
The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) earlier this week revealed that a new version of the Fibre Channel specifications has been completed and sent to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which is set to publish the specification in the first quarter of next year.
The sixth-generation Fibre Channel standard is designed to double the existing data rate from 16Gbps to 32Gbps. It will have a range of six meters over copper cable, or up to 100 meters over multimode optical fiber. In addition, the use of single-mode fiber would allow a range of 10 kilometers, which is suited for longer distances that could allow for hooking up another data center.
Despite newer alternatives such as iSCSI and FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet), Fibre Channel has remained a widely used interface for storage area networks. Because Fibre Channel is dedicated to storage, it offers higher security and is more robust than competing technologies. With its higher speed and greater range, expect the arrival of a generation of newer, faster SANs. For now, vendor solutions look set to enter the market in 2015 or 2016.