FCIA announces Gen 6 Fibre Channel standard

Solutions that comply with new standard expected to be available by 2016.

Tags: FCIA (www.fibrechannel.org)
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FCIA announces Gen 6 Fibre Channel standard Gen 6 doubles the 16 GFC data throughput of 3,200 Mbps to 32 GFC, enabling 6,400 Mbps full-duplex speeds
By  ITP.net Staff Writer Published  February 16, 2014

The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) today announced the new Gen 6 Fibre Channel standard, which it claimed can enable storage area networks (SANs) of up to 128 GFC.

The new standard also includes features that address hyper-scale virtualisation, SSD storage and new data centre architectures. Solutions that comply with the Gen 6 standard are expected to be broadly available by 2016, FCIA said in a statement.

"The continued evolution of the Fibre Channel standard is important for supporting the huge global installed base, which continues to grow at a steady pace," said Ashish Nadkarni, research director, Storage Systems and Software, IDC.

"With the development of Gen 6 Fibre Channel, enterprises should feel confident that their Fibre Channel investments are secure and that continued innovation from the vendor community will further optimise performance, security, reliability and operational simplicity to better optimise both flash and traditional storage infrastructures."

Gen 6 doubles the 16 GFC data throughput of 3,200 Mbps to 32 GFC, enabling 6,400 Mbps full-duplex speeds, FCIA said. There is also an option to quadruple the 32 GFC throughput to 128 GFC, providing full-duplex speeds of 25,600 Mbps.

True to the standard's history, Gen 6 is also forwards- and backwards-compatible.

Other features of the new standard include what FCIA called "forward error correction", which the association said improves the reliability of links through the automatic detection and recovery from bit errors that occur in high-speed networks. Gen 6 also achieves lower energy consumption by allowing the Fibre Channel optical connectors to operate in stand-by mode multiple times per second, FCIA said.

"Gen 6 Fibre Channel solutions will go beyond a boost in bandwidth, to new features that increase scalability for cloud workloads, improve network reliability and that are optimised for flash/SSD," said Shaun Walsh, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development, Emulex.

"Gen 6 FC solutions will also offer operational simplicity, with backward compatibility spanning more than a decade, given the ecosystems' commitment to maintaining compatibility to current switch and storage investments."

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