FCoE standard approved in record time: Cisco

Still obviously irked by assertions the FCoE standards and market are not fully baked, Cisco forwarded an FCoE fact sheet today in a snippy e-mail from a PR agent, claiming a "record time" for standards approval last week by the T11 working group of INCITS/ANSI.

Cisco claims much credit for pushing the standard through, according to the e-mail:

Through chairmanship of the working group within T11, and through multiple technical submissions, Cisco significantly contributed to the definition and speedy approval of the FCoE standard. Contrary to some negative predictions, the FCoE standard moved through the process very quickly and was approved in record time.  Also contrary to some expectations, IT organizations are very interested in the new technology and are testing and adopting it.

In the fact sheet, Cisco says 34% of the 558 customers it has for the Nexus 5000 switch purchased the product with FCoE "enabled" (That's less than 200, for you and me). The Cisco-authored fact sheet also provided a breakdown of costs savings with 10GE FCoE unified I/O and fabric vs. traditional I/O of 1GE, 4Gb FC End-of-Row, for connection of 1,000 rack servers: 32% in capital costs, 51% in power and cooling, and 68% fewer cables.

All good. But again, a pretty important standard for FCoE that's not quite ready yet is the Converged Enhanced Ethernet work, aka IEEE Data Center Bridging. Since it is FibreChannel over Ethernet, some might want to wait until the IEEE 802.1 working group says it's done with its work. Last we heard, that wasn't going to be until March 2010. 

But here's what Dell'Oro Group had to say about the current standards and market for FCoE in its 1Q 09 SAN report:

For FCoE to be deployed, the networking infrastructure should have CEE or Cisco's DCE (Data Center Ethernet, which Dell'Oro describes in parentheses as Cisco's "proprietary" version of CEE). During the quarter, the Nexus 5000 remained the only product running FCoE as it continued to ramp, but FCoE port shipments were less than 10% of Cisco's fixed 10 Gbps Ethernet port shipments (FCoE approximated 5K port shipments).

Dell'Oro stated that it estimates users will deploy FCoE and CEE/DCE technologies on widespread basis during 2010 and 2011, much like we found at Interop.

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