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The networking industry (ethernet crowd) wants everyone to believe that they will regain supremacy when they deliver 10 gigabit ethernet (10GbE) perhaps next year (currently, ethernet ships in 10, 100, and 1000 megabit data rates).

A few points here -

First - the Fibre Channel industry is also working on 10 gigabit FC, and will be on the market at roughly the same time. Both 10G FC and 10G E will probably share many of the same components.

Second - Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) has more in common with Fibre Channel than it does with 10 or 100 megabit ethernet. In fact, the developers of GbE started with FC silicon and protocols to develop GbE - they just stripped out alot of powerful capabilities and technology. You could look at GbE as FC's dumber cousin.

Third - FC implementations will outperform GbE implementations due to some technical capabilities not found in GbE. Keep in mind, the vendors will all tell you different stories. It doesn't matter if they can put an acedemic test together and demonstrate a gigabit pipe full of bits. The issue is - how effective and efficient is the technology as measured by the application software on the machines - and this is where FC shines.

Fourth - In this extremely price sensitive market, the GbE crowds will point to their slim price advantage, and tell you this means everything. Frankly, when considering the TCOs of an entire application infrastructure and all the elements therein, the cost deltas between FC and GbE are a rounding error - and buyers should be taking into account numerous other factors that would significantly boost their ROIs when making a FC decision.

Hope this helps.

PS. No, I do not work for a FC company.
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