I’ve gotten a lot of reader feedback from my story on data center fabric and FCoE hype, which was based on a vendor panel on data center architecture at Interop 2011. Most of the vendors on the panel conceded that Fibre Channel over Ethernet is either a little or a lot over-hyped. One vendor asked for a show of hands from the hundreds of engineers in the room for exactly how many were actually pursuing FCoE. Notably, neither Cisco (the leading proponent of FCoE) nor Brocade (the leading Fibre Channel vendor) were on the panel.
The day after I wrote and filed this story, I had breakfast with Shashi Kiran, Cisco’s director of market management for data center and virtualization. I mentioned the fact that so few people at the session were actively pursuing FCoE in their data centers. Kiran said he wasn’t surprised. The network engineers at Interop are simply building and managing resilient networks. They aren’t necessarily deciding whether FCoE will run over them. He said that storage managers are the ones who are truly interested in FCoE. If someone were to ask for a similar show of hands during a session at EMC World, which took place simultaneously with Interop, you would see a lot more hands raised, Kiran said. It’s a fair point, so I thought I’d share it here.