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By | Bill Ray 18th December 2007 14:59

Ethernet dances the light fantastic

Fibre protocols over Ethernet for the Linux set

Intel has released Linux source code, and set up a community site, to allow Fibre Channel frames to be embedded in Ethernet packets. This means companies using Fibre Channel can make more use of the protocol while maintaining their existing kit.

Open-fcoe will provide a home for developments, as well as the various tools and guides that will be needed by anyone trying the technology.

Fibre Channel can be used over copper cable, or optical connections, and allows for very fast communications, making it popular in large data centers. 10Gb Ethernet offers similar speeds, though is still a developing technology.

With the new technology, customers could get some of the performance benefits associated with Fibre Channel by tapping into existing, less expensive Ethernet networking gear tied to Linux servers.

Right now the implementation is a bit buggy, and there are parts which don't conform to the Linux license so will need to be re-written. Contributions are being sought for the development of a release version.

The Intel effort builds on a number of similar projects in the storage realm to bring Fibre Channel and Ethernet worlds closer. ®

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