Cisco will be happy to hear that FCoE will drive adapter market

Dell'Oro finds growth of HBAs, Ethernet adapters hinges on converged fabric tech

In a development we're sure Cisco will welcome, Dell'Oro Group found that FibreChannel over Ethernet will be a "major growth contributor" to the FibreChannel Host Bus Adapter and Ethernet adapter markets. FCoE will drive growth in these markets due to its value proposition of a single, converged network and storage switching fabric, Dell'Oro found in some recent studies. 

FCoE is front and center on Cisco's data center radar. The company is the most aggressive proponent of the technology as it looks to insert itself deeper into the data center by proposing new architectures that include a converged, or unified switching fabric with a heavy dose of FCoE. 

Cisco says it helped accelerate the definition of the FCoE standard in the T11 working group. Cisco has also taken issue with assertions here and in other journals that industrywide FCoE adoption is still a ways out; and that demand is tempered by the fact that the Converged Enhanced Ethernet/Data Center Bridging standards have yet to be ratified. 

These standards are key to creating the lossless, data center-optimized Ethernet on which FCoE depends. The standards are expected to be ratified in the next month or three

Indeed, Dell'Oro said there are still user inertia hurdles for FCoE to overcome but that shouldn't dampen its influence in the growth of HBAs and Ethernet adapters. And consistent with Cisco's strategy, Dell'Oro expects FCoE adoption to occur first at the server access layer where converged network adapters connect to blade and top-of-rack switches; and then deeper into the core where it will be used to connect storage arrays with the converged infrastructure. 

Cisco says that over 25% of the Nexus 5000 server access switches it has shipped have shipped with FCoE licenses. In the second half of this year, Cisco plans to add FCoE to its Nexus 7000 core switches and MDS SAN switches.

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