• United States
Senior Editor

Storage and IP

Feb 17, 20032 mins
Data Center

* Internet Fibre Channel Protocol

When it comes to connecting server and storage resources in data centers and in storage-area networks there are many options. There have been problems too, lack of interoperability, distance limitations and high costs to name a few.

This week’s Technology Update looks at one of the emerging technologies that takes direct aim at those issues and promises to help users deploy and use IP over Fibre Channel-based storage environments more efficiently.

Specifically, the Internet Fibre Channel Protocol (iFCP) is a protocol for running Fibre Channel traffic over a TCP/IP network.

IFCP wraps Fibre Channel data in IP packets but maps IP addresses to individual Fibre Channel devices. That provides more stability than a tunneled Fibre Channel over IP deployment, some vendors say.

When iFCP creates the IP packets, it inserts information that is readable by network devices and routable within the IP network. Because the packets contain IP addresses, customers can use IP network management tools such as HP’s OpenView to manage the flow of Fibre Channel data using iFCP.

The idea here is to create a powerful protocol that can help enable better datacenter backup, data mirroring and disaster recovery sites.

If you want more specifics on iFCP you can obtain the latest iFCP draft at

Or you can read our Tech Update article: